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focus group (draft)


To better understand how Computer Science PhD students actually carry out their literature reviews and how it fits in their thesis workflow.

Venue, Timing & Method

We need to book a room for a full hour. I will provide lunch, along with coffee. The session will be video recorded with written notes taken.


Very brief introduction of my work (Liquid | Author as my day job and the Dynamic View as a contributor to my PhD project) and then onto questions with flipchart: “I will ask you some questions about the way you do your Literature Review; first about searching and reading and then about organising and citing. I’ll then introduce you to my works so far and ask for more specific feedback on it.”

“For future feeedback please use the hashtag #phdliteraturereviews on Twitter and please also fill in the brief survey to make sure your perspective is clearly recorded at and please, please spread the word to fellow Computer Science PhD students who may want to fill in the survey or hashtag issues.”

Searching & Reading (15 mins)

How do you discover academic documents to include in your LR?
From documents references? From Google? From specialist search engines? ACM? Asking colleges, asking supervisor?…
What are your pain points with the discovery process?

Do you primarily read PDFs or other formats?
Do you print the PDFs out? Why?
Do you annotate on paper or digitally?
If you annotate, how do you use your annotations later, can you search by them?
What are your pain points when reading?

Organising & Citing (15 mins)

How do you organise your documents for writing, do you work in paper or digital way? Or both?
When digital, how, including names of any citation software and main plusses and minuses.
On paper, how?
Do you use index cards or post it and if so, how?
What are your pain points when you organise?

How do you cite your documents, what system or software do you use if different from how you organise your documents?
What are your pain points when you cite?

Then Dynamic View So Far (15 mins)

5 min or less demo of my PhD project so far
10 min feedback on my work so far

End with request to hashtag any specific details about their workflow they would like to and to spread the word to other colleagues who might want to join.

Published inPhD

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