How far am I from the end goal: My PhD thesis defence?
Refer back to my PhD fail story
If you have already seen the video on my PhD failure then you would already know that my PhD is already delayed by 6 months because of delay in my experiments in Dutch classrooms during Covid! So, instead of 4 years, now I am expected to finish my PhD in 4.5 years. Go and watch that video to know the details. Luckily, in this time I will also get full salary and my PhD job contract like we have here is also extended for 6 months along with my residence permit :)
Coming back to my thesis defence
If you have been following my Instagram stories and YouTube community posts then you would already know by now that my expected defence date will be somewhere in Feb 2022 which is supposedly also the last month of my PhD contract. Ideally, here you need to publish 3-4 articles in good impact factor journals, conference and the required number and quality of publications varies a lot across the faculties. In my case I have 2 journal publications in MDPI Sensors and IEEE TLT which are both with greater than 3.5 impact factor with a high citation count and 1 conference publication in EC-TEL with an impact factor greater than 2.5. In our field of Educational Technology and Learning Analytics, anything greater than 2 or 2.5 is considered good enough for publication considering the newness of the field and emerging nature. So, as per my supervisors I am now ready to start preparing myself for the thesis defence which needs carefully planning months ahead. Sometimes even 10 months or a year ahead of the defence, the planning needs to start!!
About the PhD Thesis
So, now I am writing my last article and also my thesis. According to my supervisors, I can submit this 4th article to LAK conference in October which is considered as good as different journals in educational technology or EdTech. If you have seen my Master and PhD thesis comparison video then you will already know that writing a PhD thesis is basically combining the different publications and submitted articles as different chapters. Only thing that we write completely new is the general introduction and general discussion, conclusion of the thesis. I also have many other publications in doctoral consortiums, posters, demo and also as second authors. But, obviously they won’t be considered for my thesis. It is always better to plan while writing these articles so that they always fit into the high level theme of the story of the thesis. Don’t run after publishing rather try to publish something meaningful with very high quality even though it might need a lot of time and will test your perseverance repeatedly. This video compares Masters thesis and PhD thesis:
What is the plan ahead?
Now, I am completely occupied with the PhD thesis writing, 4th article writing, some data analysis for the 4th article and obviously making these vlogs and blogs for you all my friends :) . I have to finish the 1st draft of the thesis and the 4th article by 1st of October. We have already decided the committee for my PhD defence which is like a ceremony here. Now, we check their availability and send the 1st PhD thesis draft to them somewhere in Oct after it has been approved by my supervisors. Then, hopefully the next 20 steps before the PhD defence will kick in and we can finalize a date somewhere in Feb 2022 and I can hopefully finish my PhD before the end of my current extended contract so that at the end I am not jobless before finishing my PhD!