Hi guys! So, my ramblings for today..
One of the worst things that can happen to a PhD student is finding that someone has already done a similar thing to you. This is currently something I am/was facing so I can totally relate.
So as you know, my research area is banking..Nigerian banks to be specific. So you could imagine my horror when I saw someone had not only published the area I was writing on,but also had the title I had chosen – practically word for word!! Total coincidence obviously but still!!! 😠😠
I obviously went to read the thesis sharp sharp. Maintaining the ‘original contribution’ requirement is obviously key. Anyway, I requested for the thesis (more about requests and access in a bit) which cost me a whopping £20. Normally, thesis’are accessible through a free database, but only through universities who subscribe to it. This university was not part of the scheme so, I had to have it sent to my uni for a fee.
The British Library have this website Ethos and it is basically a database which contains over 300,000 thesis’ – No lie. As long as the awarding university has signed up to the scheme, you will be able to download almost any thesis. I strongly suggest that in the course of your reading, you really do some research to see who has published what on your topic. Have a look at the approach the person has taken. Look at how it differs from your work…how strong are your own arguments?
Going back to my field and my ramblings for this evening. I have obviously identified the areas which are similar and have made a very conscious effort to ensure my work differs. I admit, it was annoying when I first saw it but in a way, it has actually helpful. I can see the gaps in that persons (and other people’s) work and the areas which I can develop stronger arguments..(and poke holes in their work LOL). So in a way, its actually great that you can see work out there similar to yours. Remember my earlier posts about the X-factor and how even though the songs are the same, it comes down to packaging? Right. Just think of your thesis in the same way.
So ya. That is it for today me thinks. Mum made me grilled fish which I am unashamedly going to eat with plaintain and maybe a glass of wine. I suspect I will have some free time later this week so I’ll try to post something else.