Today, I learned that I am out of touch. Ok, that is old news. I got into a twitter conversation about embargoed dissertations. A friend was trying to access and then cite a dissertation that has been out for a few years, and she could not because the dissertation was embargoed. I then raised this on twitter, and got a whole lot of push back. So, let’s take a look at this.
Many a postdoc are likely in my position this year, dissertation defense safely in the review mirror and settling into the groove of their research. Those who, like me, are fortunately enough to have the very civilized two-year appointment rather than the barbaric one-year, time and attention can be allocated more judiciously. Still, that does not mean the last few months has been easy. In many ways it is more difficult than before because the only guidance for my project comes from what I can discover and the only deadlines are those which I set. Writing a proposal is a protracted process, but worth doing sooner rather than later.
It was perhaps appropriate that yesterday’s tale of a young pundit’s career unraveling due to falsely claimed PhD coincided with the first meeting of the Doctoral Research Seminar I am teaching. Elizabeth O’Bagy had given the impression that she had finished her dissertation, but apparently not so much. After tweeting about it, I got some push back–how big of a sin is this? Do academics have a role in gate-keeping/outing those who lie about their credentials?
Wow. If you can write a dissertation on the politics of shark attacks as an IR specialist, I think you can do pretty much anything. From the Ted website:
Chris Neff is a third year PhD candidate in Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. He is conducting the world’s first doctoral dissertation on the politics of shark attacks.
Of course, I’m curious to know how this dissertation topic relates to IR precisely. (I get the comparative politics angle.) Perhaps Megan, who I believe teaches in his department and to whom I owe the incomparable joy of watching this clip, can shed some light… or can recruit Chris the Shark IR Specialist to do a guest post. But the real question is: how much time does Chris spend diving and surfing in his spare time? My guess is: plenty.