Vetting My Outsider Reader Candidates

Feb 22 2013 Published by under Late-stage PhD student

I recently went through the process of choosing an outside reader for my PhD thesis. An outside reader is generally faculty from another institution (or sometimes another department) that is brought in “to keep the "inside" people honest, and make sure wacky things aren't going on.” Keep the funny business to a minimum.

Anyway, this was something I took fairly seriously. Influenced, perhaps, by my recent obsession with The West Wing, I came up with a shortlist of candidates and put them through vetting that would make the selection process of some vice presidential nominees look like child’s play (looking at you, McCain ‘08).
I applied multiple litmus tests to the candidates, such as how hir area of expertise would complement the expertise already present on my thesis advisory committee, hir working relationship with my PI, hir proximity to my institution, and of course, hir h-index (kidding). The process, in fact, wasn’t so dissimilar to picking faculty for my thesis advisory committee.

If you went through this as well, I’d like to hear how you chose your outside reader? What were some of your considerations? Or was it just another box to check off?

8 responses so far

Landscape-to-portrait switcheroo

Feb 07 2013 Published by under Late-stage PhD student

If you're like me then you probably prefer reading papers in, well...paper form. Even though I fancy myself a pro-digital kind of guy, I don't really enjoy reading pdf's on a monitor. Not being able to see the whole page of a paper onscreen just kills me. Yes, I know I can zoom out, but then the font's all extra tiny and shiz. Also, scrolling up and down is a pain in the ass.

Then, I noticed what a fellow grad student in the lab did, which I hadn't thought of before. He took his monitor and pulled the ol' landscape-to-portrait switcheroo. Boom, problem solved.

Portrait Monitor

Just turn the monitor dawg

*** UPDATE ***

The same graduate student just reminded me that PubReader offers an enjoyable web-based reading experience for papers archived with PMC--independent of monitor orientation.

5 responses so far