Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Its been a while since my last post

and it looks like I got carried away.

I have finally finished my literature review, the first part of it anyway, and have mailed that to my university last week of January. I still haven't heard from them, I'm not sure if they have actually received it, but its finished for now.

I currently don't feel very confident about my literature review so I do tend to ignore it and concentrate on other things!

For example on Monday yes on Monday the 14th, I attended 'Digital Researcher' or #dr11 for twitter fans. I have to say that it was a lot of fun!

I think am computer literate, and I know how to use google for whatever I need, but sometimes you just need somebody else, who has used a tool, to point you towards it.

During #DR11 I was introduced firstly to a group of very interesting researchers! The vibe I got from everyone was quite different from what I am used to from my own EngD peers. I suppose this is because we are all on our first few months, and are all looking for information and tools, while the people in my group where all a few years into their research.

I really want to thank every single one of them, I will not name them, but if they ever read this post, Group 1A people, thank you!

Librarians are becoming my favourite people after #dr11 as well! I was a bit sceptic I have to admit... I always thought librarians were stuck in their books and did not really embrace technology, but boy how wrong I was! Librarians are cool! Most of the tools I got introduced to and I have already signed up to were suggested by the librarian in our group.

For example Scopus and Mendeley. Two tools I never knew they existed, but since yesterday I have been using Mendeley constantly, importing all of my pdfs and sorting them. (OK ok I might be procrastinating a bit, but I do believe that these will help me a lot during the next set of writing)

I have been using twitter for a few years now, I'm on my 2400th tweet on my original account, but I have created the @_ThePhysicist account as a more professional one, to go with my blog.
(lots of truths today!)
what I wanted to say is that, I thought I knew my twitter, but no... during #dr11 I found new ways of getting in contact with people, the #tags. I knew they existed, but I had never followed one before. Now I follow #dr11 #phdchat and #rstats, and I keep finding new ones!

Another tool that I did not know it existed is Python ( It was suggested that python is a programming language which can be easily used for importing/sorting and manipulating data. I have installed it, and tried using it, I have to say its fairly easy, as I have only programmed in Fortran before and I have already managed to make a few calculations! (I am not famous for my programming skills ;))

I have also been introduced to Prezi (, a fabulous tool for presentations!
I am actually working on my first presentation using it right now. I started it yesterday, but due to procrastination again, I did not do any work today... it now 11.30 and I am looking to edit my first draft to make a 'presentable' presentation for tomorrow! (I am not famous for these type of programming skills either :p )

Will I ever learn??

I have been trying to organise myself since Christmas. I know have a task list, even though its not complete, and I do try to stick to my deadlines.
My problem with that though is that I tend to focus on stuff that are not on my list. For example all these tools. I did not have on my list that I had to learn how to use new tools, but I keep doing so!
Any suggestions for improving my task lists? or for project management in general?

Before I log off and try to finish my presentation,
I want to say that I will try to post more often, it was suggested to do so at least once a week.
I will use this blog as my research notebook, as it is an easier way of having my notes and thoughts all in one place.
I will probably still use my A4 notebook as well, but as it is getting thicker and heavier, I am trying to avoid any back pains!

Talk to you soon

The Physicist