Tools and Resources
The University has a huge number of resources for students and this section highlights those of particular use to Postgraduate Research Degree (PGRD) students. Of course, your most important resource is the University Library, which provides a number of services to PGRD students.
This section also lists useful books about the process and requirements of postgraduate research study, which you may wish to read at some point during your studies. Referencing is something you will have come across in your previous studies, and which becomes more important as a PGRD student. The University provides a number of resources to help you to manage this. You can also find out more about what statistics support is available and there are some links to useful websites.
Skills Forge is a single website containing a range of modules to help track and organise research postgraduate activity. It has three key themes: 1. Reflecting on skills including research management, covering; designing systems for collating information, identifying and accessing bibliographic resources and other relevant information, and using IT appropriately for database management and recording or presenting information. 2. Identifying and recording development activities. 3. Supervisory and progression monitoring processes.
You can connect to Skills Forge at Portsmouth here: www.port.ac.uk/skillsforge you may find it useful to bookmark the page. View the step by step Skills Forge guide for both Research Students and Supervisors below:
|Research Students Skills forge Guide [Acrobat (.pdf) - Tue, 08 May 2012 11:57:00 BST]|
|Supervisors Skills Forge Guide [Acrobat (.pdf) - Tue, 08 May 2012 12:01:00 BST]|
The University Library is an essential service for all PGRD students and Professional Doctorate students. Your campus card acts as your library card and you are entitled to staff rights for borrowing.
The library offers some services which are of particular note to research degree students. First, the library has dedicated web pages for researchers providing useful information. You might also need to use the interlibrary loans service to access books and journal articles not available at the University Library. Furthermore, you can now access British theses online via the British Library’s EThOS service.
As PGRD students and Professional Doctorate students do not follow the terms and semesters which apply to the rest of the University it is also important to note that the library operates reduced opening hours outside of term-time. These can be found under the 'opening hours' section of the website.
In addition to finding resources and literature for your studies, the University Library also has a range of books to provide advice on completing your postgraduate research studies. From applying for funding through to sitting your viva these books provide useful information and guidance on the whole postgraduate research degree process.
Here are some examples:
Phillips, E., & Pugh, D. S. (2005). How to get a PhD: a handbook for students and their supervisors (4th Ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press. (Shelfmark 378.242/PHI)
Rugg, G., & Petre, M. (2004). The unwritten rules of PhD research. Maidenhead: Open University Press. (Shelfmark 378.242/RUG)
Doing a Professional Doctorate
Lee, N-J. (2009). Achieving your Professional Doctorate. Maidenhead: Open University Press. (Shelfmark 378.1553/LEE)
Scott, D. (2004). Professional doctorates: integrating professional and academic knowledge. Maidenhead: Open University Press. (Shelfmark 378.242/PRO: Also available as an e-book).
Managing a research project
Bell, J. (2005).Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social science (4th ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press (Shelfmark 300.72/BEL; Also available as an e-book) Potter, S. (2006). Doing postgraduate research (2nd ed.). London: Sage. (Shelfmark 001.42/DOI).
Writing a thesis
Murray, R. (2007). How to write a thesis. Maidenhead: Open University Press. (Shelfmark 808.02/MUR: Also available as an e-book).
Dunleavy, P. (2003). Authoring a PhD: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Docotoral Thesis or Dissertation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. (Shelfmark 808.02/DUN)
Tinkler, P. (2004). The doctoral examination process: a handbook for students, examiners and supervisors. Maidenhead: Open University Press. (Shelfmark 378.242/TIN).
Murray, R. (2003). How to survive your viva: defending a thesis in an oral examination. Maidenhead: Open University Press. (Shelfmark 378.242/MUR).
Why is referencing so important?
For research degrees you will be expected to reference to an academic standard. Good referencing practice is an important part of avoiding plagiarism.
Make referencing easier: using software
You will be managing larger numbers of references than you will have done for your previous degrees. This makes it crucial to manage your referencing well throughout your studies – when it comes to writing up being able to have instant access to all your references and cite them automatically in your document really makes life easier.
You may find using referencing software such as EndNote (which is provided by the University) or EndNote Web an invaluable way of keeping track of all your references.
Help with referencing
The University Library has resources to help you with referencing style and also offers workshops on referencing and using EndNote. The Science Faculty Librarian (Andy Barrow) has also prepared a guide to EndNote Web and there are Academic Skills Unit hashandouts and workbooks available for you to download.
For more unusual sources you may wish to consult a style manual, which can be found in the University Library.
Important: Before you start you should check with your First Supervisor what the correct referencing style is for your department.
You may find that you need statistics support at some point in your studies. The University Maths Café provides maths support to students.
Before submitting your thesis you should arrange to have it bound. You should read carefully the Instructions and notes on Submission, Format and Binding in your Research Degree Handbook before you have your thesis bound.
The University’s Printing Services now offer a full thesis binding service for all postgraduate research students.
Printing Services can undertake the full production of your thesis, ensuring quality print, correct paper selection, black hard cover thesis binding and gold foil blocking Please provide your thesis in PDF format and refer to the Postgraduate Research Handbook for the exact requirements. Please ensure you have provide an additional PDF for the text to appear on the cover and spine in gold foil blocking.
The cost of thesis binding is just £25.00, which includes three lines of gold foiling on the front cover and one line on the spine. Additional lines of gold foiling are £5 per line.
The cost of printing your thesis starts from just 4p per side for mono printing.
If you have any questions about this or any related issues, please contact the Graduate School office.
Purple Door Careers & Recruitment is dedicated to helping you to work out what you need to do to attain a satisfying and enjoyable career. You can visit the Purple Door Careers Centre at any time where you will find lots of information about different careers, study options and where to find opportunities. If you need further advice and guidance you can arrange to meet a Careers Adviser who can help you plan your next steps.
You can register with Purple Door Recruitment working proactively with employers on behalf of students to find full-time, part-time and voluntary positions both in the local area and throughout the UK.
To find out more about the full range of services available and to get initial advice when choosing your course visit the Careers and Recruitment web pages.
Vitae provide a huge range of invaluable resources for all types of postgraduate researchers and research staff, including tips on managing your doctorate, working with your supervisors and careers advice.
They also run a range of events for postgraduate researchers including GRAD schools and careers events. Dependent upon your funding source, many of these events are free and may be a good opportunity for you to meet other PhD students and to develop your career in research.
Vitae also produce an electronic newsletter for postgraduate researchers, keeping you up-to-date with some serious and not so serious aspects of studying for a doctorate.
Postgraduate Forum is a worldwide forum for discussion about postgraduate study.
The ESRC National Centre for Research Methods is a great source of information about Research methods based in Southampton.
Postgraduatetoolbox is a resource for postgraduates providing information and services to assist and support postgraduate life and work.
Methodspace is a new forum which has been set up for the discussion of Research Methods.
Jiscmail provides a mailing list service for academics to discuss teaching, learning and research.
If you have 5 minutes to spare why not browse these links:
And finally, when you are in need of a bit of light entertainment…