Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mixed Emotions

I received mixed responses for my abstract for Conference in RCA.

1. The conference organizers gave really positive feedback on my abstract and poster;
2. The GT workshop leaders felt that I needed more saturation and conceptualization -- move from conceptual description towards theoretical conceptualization;
3. Adviser expressed surprise that I had not waited until I had completed my dissertation and submitted it to graduate school before sending my work to the conference.

I am very excited about #1, happy to learn #2, and completely perplexed by #3.

#3. I never knew that it would be a problem to submit works-in-progress to conferences.

First, the organizers contacted me and encouraged me to submit the application back in December when I had failed to submit on the deadline, and accepted the application even though I had clearly expressed that it was work-in-progress and that in line with Classic Grounded Theory, the emergent theory may change from what I had submitted.

Second, I know many friends who send in portions of their dissertations into conferences for presentation. In fact, it is a common practice to do so for our Computer Science department. As one friend told me, the doctoral dissertations in their department are made up of a compilation of chapters which they are encouraged to publish in journals before the entire dissertation is completed.

Third, sh'he knew that I was submitting an abstract to the Conference, so why did sh'he not inform me of this earlier?

I don't feel upset at Adviser, who has been really supportive all along, even when sh'he expressed #3 above. Perhaps hir illness has affected hir more than sh'he realized. I have been so careful all along to adhere to the highest ethical standards in my research, but now, I am concerned that my reputation--and worse, my dissertation--may be negatively affected because of this.

I have written back to Adviser (even tried to call her on the phone) to seek clarification, but have not yet heard back from hirm.

The life of a dissertator is fraught with mixed emotions!


Scholar Wannabe said...

I'm not sure what the practice is in your field, but in my field, it is very common practice to present portions of the diss along the way.

In my own experience, it has been VERY important to present my work along the way for at least two reasons:
1) It provides an arena in which to "test the waters" (what objections have I not sufficiently addressed? what needs to be polished more?). Generally, I've received feedback that has strengthened my arguments.
2) It creates a hearing for your work (people are looking for it when it's finally published).

I completely empathize with the mixed emotions in the life of a dissertator!

Peggy said...

I asked advisor (possibly the same one as yours) about subitting a portion of my diss to an upcoming VERY interesting conference and received a blistering e-mail in return telling me NOT to do that under any circumstnces. Sigh....

Lonely Dissertator said...

SW: It's validating to hear that it is just my adviser's personal thing. I still don't have a sense of why sh'he feels this way as there has been no explanation.

Peggy: Well, as least you know in advance. I had NO IDEA, and adviser knew I was doing it because I had communicated so.

Lonely Dissertator said...

Update: Have cleared things with Adviser. Very excited to move on!