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Less than half?

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Glass half empty kind of guy? Probably more so than glass half full. But to think I now have less than half of my intended PhD time to go is rather astonishing…I can see the end, but its way past a mountain of work. In fact I still have the majority of work to do.

The festive season saw me focus on my next paper, currently with AJIC which describes some of the differences I found in my survey of ICP staff in Australia who undertake surveillance. More or less a detailed version of my talk at ACIPC 2014. I submitted that on Xmas eve. Then I turned my attention to my next paper, the results of the clinical vignettes which also was part of the survey. I explore the agreement levels of the vignettes but also look for any association with respondent characteristics which might predict accuracy of vignette. The stats in that paper were heavy, but thanks to the advice of statisticians at QUT I was able to find the right test and apply it! Poisson regression. The results were interesting, and will certainly help inform my final recommendations. That paper is now in its final draft whilst we decide where to submit.

Last week I received notice from Australian Health Review that my first article was now in print and online, and the editor had selected it for open online access. This is a good thing as hopefully it will be read more broadly. Further, AHHA asked me to assist with a press release in case there was some media interest…none yet! This was then followed by a statement and portraits for QUT! All amusing as really, I think my next papers will be much more interesting.

(Some coverage on HealthCanal, and an interview with Nursing Review, but if you dont have log in details, you can hear the interview here)

A seemingly major decision which has been met with mixed response, is my plan to now complete my PhD by publication rather than by monothesis. I have several reasons for this:

  1. I have one paper published, one in review, one about to be submitted and I plan to have written another one, possibly two, by the end of this year, finishing up with another early next year. So definitively five, maybe six, papers from my research.
  2. I want my studies to be widely read. Who reads PhD monothesis apart from the examiners and maybe a few other? I’m a PhD student, and I have only read probably half dozen theses…I figure if I publish as I write, more will read…
  3. I believe my work is relevant now…so needs to be published now, not later after I’ve completed my PhD
  4. It just sort of makes sense given the above.

I certainly don’t believe this will be easier or quicker. Some feedback to me has been that some consider this method is taken up by those who want to finish quickly. I don’t agree. I still need to complete my research, I still need to collect data, analyse, write it up etc…And as far as my thesis goes, I still need to provide a detailed lit review, and summary, plus I need to narrate between publications. Its possible this will be harder for me, but as 4 above, it kind of makes sense.

And so soon I head over to Adelaide for a few days at Flinders Uni with my Discrete Choice Experiment experts to begin the construction of the DCE. I have almost completed my semi (or loosely) structured interviews with surveillance experts to assist in identifying the attributes and levels…and then its down that pleasurable road of ethics!!!

We did manage to sneak away to Lorne on the west cost for a week for a bit of a break..the weather was mixed (below), but a week away is precious.



One day it just rained non stop!

and then the next…



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