Publishing academic work

Newcastle University’s Politics department hosts a professional development seminar series. The series is very useful, offering helpful advice to postgraduate students across a range of issues, from setting up a research radar, to getting funding for your PhD, to publishing your work and getting a job in the academy, there are many things that postgraduates might want to know more about, but are not sure where to start. For more info, click here.

Today’s seminar was titled ‘Meet the editors: getting advice about publishing from the journal editors in Politics‘. Newcastle is fortunate at the moment to have four members of staff in the Politics department that edit academic journals. Martin Coward and Kyle Grayson edit Politics, Alistair Clark is one of the editors of the British Journal of Politics and International Relations, and Anthony Zito is one of the editors of Enviromental Politics. Together, they offered their advice to postgraduates in the seminar, and I’d like to post some of their thoughts on this blog today. Wherever I can, I’ll try and group them into specific sections. I’ll refrain from attributing specific ideas to specific people, because I think they all concurred with each other sufficiently to make that unnecessary. Whilst all of the comments below are helpful and important, I do not take any credit for them. This blog is written with postgraduate students in mind. Continue reading Publishing academic work

Opinion polls and what to do with them

Opinion polls remain a key method of predicting what might happen in an election. We are grateful to newspapers and websites for continually paying for polling companies to ask roughly 1000 people how they attend to vote so that we have some idea of what might happen.

However, newspapers (understandably so) hope and expect a headline from their investment in polling. Hence, we see headlines such as ‘Support for Labour shrinks as faith in recovery grows, ICM poll finds’ from The Guardian, or ‘Tories at lowest ebb for 8 years‘ in The Sunday Times. Continue reading Opinion polls and what to do with them

Film 2013

My latest blog (and first of 2014) is not related directly to my studies. It concerns films, and more specifically the films I watched during 2013. It is, however, related to studying Politics at Newcastle. I’ll return to why later on.

I decided to keep a list of films that I watched throughout 2013 due to a pub conversation with a friend at the end of 2012. We were discussing the films we had seen that year. It would have been a fine conversation, except for the fact that I couldn’t remember what films I’d seen, thus a list for 2013 was born. The full list is below (with clickable links to each film’s IMDB page). Continue reading Film 2013

PSA Postgraduate Network Annual Conference

Last week, I presented at the Political Studies Association Postgraduate Network Annual Conference, hosted at Oxford University. Although I have presented at an academic conference before (see here), this was the first in which I was presenting a fully blown original paper (the photo on the right shows the panel that I was part of). Continue reading PSA Postgraduate Network Annual Conference

What happened before the PhD?

Here it goes. The first substantive post of what will become quite a long blog by the end of my PhD (click here to find out more ‘About Me’).

It seems to me that a good place to start would be to revisit (briefly) what brought me to do a PhD. As I noted in my ‘About Me’ page, I also did my BA and MA in Politics at Newcastle University. However, this hasn’t been some seamless journey towards PhD study. As a 17 year old thinking about universities, I was in no position to make a well-informed decision. My parents were fantastic, ferrying me around to various open days and talks, but they hadn’t gone to university (I was the first in my family), so they were as clueless as me at the start. In the end, I chose Newcastle University because it felt right: it had a very good reputation, it was (and is) a member of the Russell Group, they valued local students, and everything seemed to fit from then onwards.

Continue reading What happened before the PhD?

About Me

My name is Craig Johnson, and I am a first year PhD student in Politics at Newcastle University. The purpose of this blog is to give an insight into the life of postgraduate students at Newcastle. Alongside many others (see here for blogs from others students in Politics), I’ll be blogging roughly once a month about my experiences and insights, and hopefully some of it might be useful to whomever chooses to visit.

A quick bit about me: I am 22, and originally from County Durham in the North East of England. My BA and MA were also in Politics at Newcastle University, and for the next 3 or so years, I’ll be here for the PhD. My research focuses on the potential for co-operation between the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties within British politics. My interests revolve around the aspects of British politics related to that.

I’ll blog about things related to my research, but also about things relating to my subject area and the nature of my study. Suggestions for blog posts are always welcome. If you’re wondering why I’ve used the blog name #phdchat, it’s because this is a regular hashtag on Twitter for people to post things that might be of interest to fellow PhD researchers.

That’s it for now. Feel free to follow me on Twitter or on Academia, or check back here for future blog posts.