I figured out how to use an automatically generated link that includes a tracking I’d for the referrer that I can embed into the results of the referee. So I no longer have technical issues with using RDS as a sampling method.

Last night I submitted my second set of revisions (3rd draft) to my chair. Within an hour she responded that they looked good, and just a few very minor additions were needed, and to check the formatting after accepting the changes (track changes was on for this revision) before I sent it on. I made the changes, and checked everything this morning on the train to work, and  then sent it to my committee.

Last night after receiving her Email I went to timetomeet.com and sent my committee members an email so that I could identify common times that they were available the last week of May.

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Tuesday afternoon my chair returned my second draft. Since I decided to only use tree theory of individual difference and credentialing theory I, can now move a couple sections around to improve the flow. 

The biggest change is the thing I have been struggling with the most, a method for creating my sample frame and selecting the sample. Each draft I have turned in has had a different method. The problem I have run into is identifying all potential participants. My chair recommended that I look into respondent directed sampling. It is similar to snowball, but has a model to estimate randomness. I will be using it, but need to figure out the logistical details.

Other than that it is just minor changes that I hope to complete today.

This weekend included 22 hours of work making all the needed changes and additions to my proposal. This included an entire restructuring of chapter 2.

I realized that when I was writing I forgot to include page numbers for all of my direct quotes, so I spent a while yesterday finding them all.

Also towards the end if writing a new section yesterday I thought to include information on most managers coming from either business or engineering backgrounds, but couldn’t remember where I read about it last week. I guess that is the hardest part for me; remembering who said what.

I also revised my survey and created a flow chart for the branching at various stages. My chair pointed out that we have access to qualtrics, which offers many more choices than survey monkey. So I spent several hours exploring its features, and specifying question types as well add logic for my survey.

Hopefully she will have only minor changes and I can work on scheduling my preliminary defense.

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I have taken the last couple weeks to think about the comments that my chair made on my draft, and how I should change it. Yesterday she emailed me asking when I would be getting revisions back to her, and that it was close to being the deadline in order to have my preliminary defense at the end of May. I told her that I would have it to her on Monday.

Today I took to the whiteboard and revised my research questions, and then organized the sections of chapter 2 so that they would lead up to them. I then removed several sections that we decided were not adding much to the discussion, amounting to 8 pages. I also went through and started making changes based on her comments. Tomorrow I plan on finishing going through and making the easy changes. Then I will move the sections around based on the new outline, finish writing a couple new sections, and a lot of transitions.

Today I received the marked up copy of my dissertation back from my chair. The majority of comments were minor APA and punctuation issues. I went into too much detail into parts of chapter one. I also need to clarify how the content in my lit review ties into the research questions. I will be working on it tomorrow, and on the flight to Toronto.

While I’m taking a little break from writing my dissertation I thought I would write a post on my workflow.

I am not an apple person, so I do not have an iPad, iPhone, or a Mac. I use windows 7 on my work computer and my laptop, I also have an android phone and a nexus 10 tablet. So this post will outline how I use windows and android programs in my workflow.

The programs that I use are: Dropbox, mendeley, chrome, acrobat pro (on PC) reader (on android), evernote, cutepdf, and word.

I have experimented with other such as qiqqa, and scriver, but they didn’t fit in my workflow like I wanted. Qiqqa took too long to update metatinfo for citations, and scriver didn’t work with word the way I wanted. Fresno State gave me a pretty good word template that I had already tweaked so that it had other styles for me to use, and the headings were set to the correct outline steps.

Collecting research
I started using mendely last year to organize articles that may be use full for my dissertation as well as for other papers that I wrote. I had folders created for each different topics, and as I brought articles in, or read them I would tag them with key concepts. I also set it up to auto save articles in a folder by author-title-year. I had experimented with using sub folders, but none of the options were better than in on folder. If it would save files into folders similar to the ones used in the program it would be helpful, but then you could end up with duplicates if you had a file in two folders. The folder that it saves it into is called research, and within that folder I have a folder called new that I have it watch.

I use a combination of databases through the school, and Google scholar to collect articles. Whenever I found an article that was close to what I wanted I saved it as a PDF. If I was somewhere that didn’t have a PDF option such as an article that was only available as HTML or a data view from BLS I used cutePDF to turn it into one. CutePDF sets up just like a printer, but instead of printing on paper it makes a PDF.  When using Google scholar I set it up to connect to the school library, so that if the PDF wasn’t free in the open web, I could search through the library to find it. I also used the ebsco android app to save files when searching the database from my phone, and would download them latter on the PC. When I’m on the tablet I just download them files and then upload them into the new folder in dropbox.

When I am reading a real book and come across something that I want to remember I take a picture of the passage with evernote and put it into a notebook called dissertation.

Organizing files
Once I had collected files I would start mendeley and make sure the info was correct and do my preliminary tags, and put them into folders. I try and keep my unfilled area empty. Once I started working on my dissertation I created a not dissertation folder, and moved all the folders that did not relate to my dissertation into it. That included folders for other papers I’m writing this semester.

The standard APA style for mendeley has a few issues so I have created a new version that fixes some things.

Reading articles
I read and markup articles in mendeley primilarily, that way I can make notes that show up without opening the file. Whenever I get a file that is just a scanned image I open it in acrobat pro and perform OCR, depending on the quality of the scan I get mixed results.

If I am reading on my tablet I primillary highlight, and make notes only when I really don’t want to forget something. That way when I go back to the PC I can see all my highlights and if I see a comment I open the PDF in acrobat and copy the comment into mendeley.

Writing
I do all of my writing in word, using the correct styles I am able to go the the outline view and move things around as needed. I also edited them web standard style to match what I wanted for the reference list so that I wouldn’t have to reformat it every time.

I submitted the draft of chapters 1-3 yesterday to my chair yesterday. There was one pretty big section that I was not able to finish, and I decided it would be better to do another edit on what I had than try and rush through the last section. Before I went to drop mine off I sat in on the preliminary defense for one of the Bakersfield students and after seeing him be torn apart for things keep thinking: is that in mine, yup I addressed that, ohh I need to look at that again. I had printed mine out before I went to see him and didn’t have time to make any changes so I walked across hoping to catch my chair a little before we had agreed to meet.

She was running around after being away for 10 day and not in her office, so I sat in the little coffee bar in the business building and reread my draft. In the process I realized that I had removed a section from my lit review on hackerspaces because I couldn’t find good research articles on them, and then after I found a couple forgot to put it back in. I even referenced those articles in the intro. I need to add that section back into the lit review so that I can use it in my summary and justification for my research. I also realized that I hadn’t had enough time to revise my survey. I met with my chair in the hall before her class and quickly went over those issues, and decided that I would pick up her notes on my draft on Tuesday, so that I can have it before I leave Wednesday for HASTAC2013.

I then ran (OK I walked quickly) across campus and arrived to my class just as the guest speaker was starting. In guess he wasn’t late like my professor had told me that he would be. I sat though class listening to him talk about “development” (aka fundraising), and thinking about my dissertation, and how I needed to look into finding a better way to gain access to subjects.

After class I went to several magazines and organizations that would have contact info for engineers and engineering managers, and sent emails asking if they would be willing to work with my on distributing my survey.

I then checked and saw that the HASTAC2013 website had been updated and now had the full schedule with descriptions, and that I am spotted for 10:30 Saturday morning. I need to make my presentation, and figure out how I am going to say everything I want within 8 minutes.