Reading lists and RSS feeds

This is the second day of my PhD, or at least the week before I technically register and gain the all important library card that will allow me to ransack the library and be officially a student for the 4th time!

Yesterday there was a slightly needless welcome chat, where everyone involved was more keen to get to coffee before the first meeting with the other PhD students within the SLC. There are 5 of us, one visiting, which is lower than I expected. I’ll be the only one doing a Hispanic Studies related PhD.

After a quick trip to the Union to see the obligatory and typical leaflet, voucher and info givers – the Socialists (you never see the Liberals or Conservatives daring to be present), the guys offering drinks and discounts for clubs and the random sports teams), I headed home to make progress.

This was what was achieved.

  • Read the PhD Code of Practice
  • Had a look at some seminars offered for the DDP, signed up for 4 or 5, so making a start there. Had a look at some of the modules on offer, a couple might be useful.
  • Filled out the TNA (Training Needs Analysis) to be discussed with my supervisors. It’s a bit tricky to know what number rating you are at when you don’t quite know what level you need to be at.
  • Worked on my reading list, going from sources used in my MA dissertation and a football in Latin American bibliography which is a little out of date. Found this one too
  • Discovered the Soccer and Society Journal and looked through all the Volume editions so far for anything useful

And now on to today, the second day. Stayed at home today, no point heading in. It has been a productive day though got a headache from looking at a screen for too long. This may be a common event over the next three years.

Today’s efforts:

  • continued to compile my reading list, looking mostly for journals and books related to the topics of Colombian nation building and identities, futbolizaci√≥n, football nationalism
  • looked at some of the library skills mini courses as a starting point for making sure I make the most of my research time. Went over the Harvard referencing system, finding out a few things I hadn’t known. Though annoyingly it also says the Hispanic Studies department uses MHRA as well, so will look at that tomorrow.
  • went through the Literature Review advice, including two useful videos from the University Of Maryland. Never really had gone over these before, but luckily I realised I was doing it well in my MA!
  • moved on to looking at how to get the most out of RSS feeds. I’ve used them before, but only when I was putting them on the Spanish department VLE at Gresham’s and Malvern College. Signed up to Netvibes¬†as the RSS reader and then set up one or to news based RSS feeds as well as linking my Twitter account. Good to find out how to look at my created lists too which will save time.
  • Discovered ProQuest to look up dissertations and theses. I hadn’t known about this before, but hopefully it will help me find any pieces of work based on my topic area.
  • Also discovered Scopus which will be very useful finding journal articles and so on. I managed to create RSS feeds on Netvibes for various searches. Not sure how many things will come up!
  • Finally, found out about Zetoc, which will help me monitor journal feeds and articles being published. I will need to look over the journals where my type of journal topics come up, but I’ve created RSS feeds for a couple already.

All in all a productive day on the developing skills side of things. More things like this to look at tomorrow.

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