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David

How to avoid plagiarism in your research?

Are you worried that you unintentionally plagiarise someone? Learn about techniques and tools that will help you avoid plagiarism in your research!

When writing academic manuscripts, we need to present novel ideas, thoughts and discoveries.

But to ensure that the readers of your work understand what you’re talking about, you need to provide them with relevant context and background that presents the current state-of-the-art in your field.

From the discussions I had with you, I’ve realised that many of you are worried about plagiarism and want to know how to avoid plagiarism in your writing.

I’ve decided to share some of my thoughts on what you should pay attention to when writing. I trust these will help you to avoid unintentional plagiarism.

where to find motivation to write a phd

How to motivate yourself when writing a research article

Do you hate writing and leave it to the last minute? Read more about efficient ways that will help you stay motivated when writing a research article!

Academic writing is a key skill that we, as academics and researchers, need to have in our skillset to efficiently communicate our research.

It’s one of the fundamental activities you do, regardless of the career stage.

At the early stage of your career, you’ll mostly use academic writing to disseminate your research via research articles in journals and to write your dissertation – the cumulative point of your PhD degree!

At the later stage of your career, you’ll still be writing and editing research articles, and you’ll most likely need to apply for research funding to sustain your research group.

So you see – writing, especially writing research articles, is a crucial skill that you should develop at the early stage of your career to succeed in academia.

Yet, so many of us hate writing.

How to write an outstanding abstract for your research paper?

Did you know that an abstract is the most important part of your research paper? Learn how to write an abstract and increase engagement with your research!

Have you heard that an abstract is one of the most important elements of your research paper?

I want you to remind yourself of the time when you search for papers to support your research. Ask yourself the following question – what information you read first?

Yes, that’s right – you usually decide whether the research paper is useful for your research based on the title and abstract alone.

Only after the abstract catches your interest, you read the full paper.

You can see the abstract of your research paper as an opportunity to showcase the best aspects of your research and encourage your readers to go through the entire article to find out more.

I know we’re usually not taught how to sell and market our work during our PhDs, which is a real shame if you ask me. But it’s something you can learn using the process for developing habits I discussed some time ago.

Essentially the purpose of an abstract is similar to the sales pitch. The abstract is your opportunity to get your readers hooked and convince them that your work is relevant for them.

And remember, depending on the journal or conference, you’ve got about 100-300 words to convey your message!

So how do you write outstanding abstract for research paper?

How to develop good habits for a successful academic career in 5 easy steps?

Wonder how to develop good habits? By building good habits early in your career, you will succeed in academia. Here are 5 easy steps you can use today!

Our habits are responsible for a large fraction of our daily decisions, behaviours and actions.

For example, think about what you do in the very first second after you wake up? Do you pick up your phone, go have a coffee/breakfast or go for a walk or run?  

Have you ever thought about why you do it in the first place? Is this something you decided to do before you fell asleep or you do it every day unintentionally? The latter represent your habits and these can be good and bad ones.

5 bad habits that you must ditch to become motivated academic

Have you developed bad habits that deteriorate your performance and motivation? Find out how you can ditch bad habits and become motivated academic!

Did you know that the habits you develop at the early stage of your development as an academic can make or break your academic career?

Why?

It’s because it’s relatively easy to pick up bad habits, while it’s substantially more challenging to ditch them.

And bad habits can drain your energy, diminish your productivity, and prevent you from staying motivated to solve the challenges, especially when you hit an obstacle.

For example, at the early stage of my formation as a researcher, I became an email slave. It wasn’t just a tool. I become obsessed with checking my email and was responding to every email right after it arrived in my mailbox. And I was doing this 24/7…

The result?

I got distracted from my research and had to stay up late to complete all my tasks. A not really great example of the work-life balance!

How to overcome writer’s block in your PhD?

Writer’s block can significantly delay, or even derail, your research project. Find out about the tools that can help you overcome writer’s block!

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Stephen King

Do you enjoy writing?

I noted that many researchers usually consider writing as the least exciting part of doing research, usually dedicating too little time to this important activity in their research project.

After all, you’ve done your experiments or derived a new mathematical model that helps to solve a specific challenge.

This is truly the most electrifying part of your work as you’ve pushed the boundary of knowledge. Well done!

But what’s the actual value of your discovery if you don’t share it with others?

Although there are many ways to share your research (remember to check out our free ebook!), writing down your research is still the main way to do so.

How to come up with new research ideas in 5 easy steps?

Creativity is a key skill to become a successful academic. Therefore, developing an efficient process to come up with new research ideas is fundamental to your academic career success!

Creativity is a key skill to become a successful academic. Therefore, developing an efficient process to come up with new research ideas is fundamental to your academic career success!

As academics and researchers, we’re at the forefront of the current body of knowledge. We constantly push these boundaries forward, finding innovative and out-of-the-box solutions to the challenges that our generation is currently facing.

But do you know what does make or break the academic careers?

In my view, it’s your ability to come up with new research ideas!

Quality over quantity: the golden balance between quality and quantity in academic publishing

You should always prioritise quality over quantity in your track record, although publishing more can give you more visibility.

From the early stage of your research career, you are told that you need to publish your work in peer-reviewed journals.

You may even feel the pressure to publish, especially towards the end of your PhD degree, because of the “publish or perish” culture that may influence your productivity. As a result, you may be tempted to publish your work in any journal that will publish your work, regardless of its international standing and recognition.

If you’re fairly fresh to the entire publishing process, you may be wondering how many publications you should publish during PhD? Or even what journals you should consider publishing your work in?

I’ve been there and asked these questions myself! I never could get a definitive answer from my peers and supervisors – most of the answers I got emphasised the need to publish high-quality work in prestigious journals.

And I fully agree with this. You should always place the quality over quantity in your research project.

How to get things done and stay motivated

Do you struggle to get things done and stay motivated in your research career? Learn how to efficiently set goals and reflect on your work!

Staying motivated and productive while working in the research environment can be quite challenging.

This is mostly because as researchers and academics, we’re trusted with a broad range of responsibilities, from doing research and securing funding, through teaching, developing course material to mentoring others. 

And on the top of this, we’ve got to share our research with the world to ensure it reaches beneficiaries that can potentially use it. 

This is a lot! It’s extremely easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you don’t have a specific plan on how you can get things done. 

As a result, you may lose motivation and your drive to pursue your innovative research. Or even worse, you may burn out, as I explained in my previous article on maintaining sustainable motivation.

As academics and researchers, we’ve to deal with rejection and uncertainty. Even if we give our best, things may not always go exactly as we want. 

So how you can ensure you’ll get things done and stay motivated? 

How to deal with negative environment at work

How to deal with a negative environment?

Experienced an unexpected drop in productivity? You’re likely being influenced by a negative environment at work! Learn how to deal with a negative work environment.

We now live in VUCA world, which stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. And this is on top of the uncertainties that you must deal with in your research project. 

With most of you still working from home, it’s more likely that you feel more anxious and frustrated. You may experience these negative feelings in particular if you don’t have enough support from your project team or the communication is poor. 

There’s also a likelihood that the lines between your life and work will become blurred. It’s really tempting to answer this last email at 2am and work through the night to finish your paper, isn’t it? 

Does this sound familiar?

If you felt like this for a long time, you may be surrounded by a negative environment at work.