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33

Here are some observations I've gathered from reading your question (with the disclaimer that I don't know you and am taking your description at face value). You have done a PhD in a topic and know that area extremely well. You have done a thorough literature search with different search parameters and have not found something equivalent to your work. Your ...


18

Even experienced researchers can wrongly believe to have discovered something new when a similar observation had been reported before. The consecrated phrase to tone down a priority claim is "to the best of our knowledge". As far as I understand, your discovery is indeed to the best of your knowledge entirely new. You can write it, and in case a ...


11

Just submit to the reviewers and see what happens It's always possible that you and your supervisor have missed something, and really, we can't offer any helpful analysis of how likely this is. It happens sometimes in academic work. I've had it happen to me a couple of times due to literature searches that did not search the correct keywords (see this ...


9

My answer would be, don't underestimate how much you learn through doing and interacting during a PhD. There are many interdisciplinary groups offering PhD projects for people with a physics degree and little or no biological knowledge, but within which you'll be strongly exposed to some biology questions. That won't make a biologist of you, but biology ...


7

In a proposal, you will often have to explain your previous experiences with issues related to what you are proposing. It is not uncommon to show some unpublished data there. If the data is the result of a student's work, you could simply mention that in the proposal text, a figure caption or the like, including the student's name. Then you would already ...


6

In APA Style: Doe, Jane. I. (2021). Embedded computing in underwater basket weaving: A case for sustainable textiles. Manuscript in preparation. Other styles might have similar formats.


4

First (the bad news): Gary Stormo lived in a very different world. At the time science was working in a much more compartmental way: For example, a physicist solving partial differential equations (via numerical models) in biology, if the numerical model was succesful, it would have been hugely succesful. And nowadays the same numerical model or the results ...


4

Choosing a suitable problem requires deep insight. Often a student just finishing coursework won't have that insight yet. Insight comes from very deep dives into the essence of a problem space. It is an emergent property, not easily or automatically attained. Hence, students are often guided to a problem (or problems) by their advisor who does have this ...


4

For a doctoral dissertation (I missed the tag, initially), there is probably no way out. I suspect that there are very few doctoral programs, world wide, that will give you a doctorate for a "faithful, but failed, attempt". The solution is to, sadly enough, pick a different problem, perhaps related to the original, but which is more amenable to ...


3

Depending on the state of the work to be cited, you can add to a normal citation either "work in progress" or "private communication". I'm not as certain about the latter, but might consider it for a work in the early stages, with "in progress" for one in the later stages. Perhaps "in progress" is best as it implies ...


3

Since it seems doubtful that you can change his mind, you seem to have only two options. Go along, or go to higher authority. If you won't talk to the department head or dean, you are well and truly stuck. It would be useful (for you) to know if he has done this to others as well. There might be a student advocate office at your university that can offer ...


3

You can attempt to overrule the editor-in-chief by contacting the publisher. You will need very strong evidence, but if your complaint is successful, the publisher can fire the editor-in-chief and retract the plagiarized paper(s).


3

Nothing is going to happen if you don't report the behavior. The two obvious places where you can report things are: Your former institution: Your previous adviser's department head, dean, or if there is one the university's ethics office (in the US typically located in the office of the Vice President of Research or similar). The journals in which the ...


3

Do you know if there is a way of doing a PhD and at the same time studying a new field ? Like a PhD in computational biology and at the same time taking a biology bachelor and master degree ? I don't see why you would need to do a Biology BSc/MSc if you already have physics degrees. I am a biologist and have had many colleagues doing their PhDs in fields ...


3

The general rule is that research is about knowledge not confirming "expected" results. Knowing that something is false or doesn't work is knowledge and it can be very valuable. Your professor made an hypothesis and you seem to have shown that it is false. That is worth knowing. It doesn't invalidate future work, but requires that you redirect it. ...


3

The truth, as so often, is somewhere in the middle. No, a PhD thesis is not an exercise in the traditional sense - it's supposed to be a novel, useful contribution to the scientific state of the art. For PhD students that leave research behind after their degree it will typically indeed be the most advanced, most complete piece of research they ever produce. ...


2

Firstly, I'm sorry to hear you are in such a bad spot. Your question strongly depends on individual factors (which is why people are voting to close). Given your circumstance, it would be a shame for us to give you no advice, so I am going to sneak in an answer before this gets closed. The most important thing to do here is to speak to your supervisor and ...


2

An approach is a description of your methodology. A contribution statement describes how your study advances the literature. The approach could be the 98% the same for two studies, but the contribution could be very different. People read an approach to see how you technically did something. This is probably very long. A contribution statement is typically ...


2

Typically a Ph.D. student would have had enough exposure at the graduate level to be able to choose a problem they find interesting as their thesis topic with the help of their supervisor. It does not always have to be a novel solution. For instance, it can be a different way of proving something already proven. They also can continue to study and take ...


2

Being a new idea isn't a binary. One thing that always strikes me when trying to find discovery dates is that discovery is a fuzzy process. Normally the best things are rediscovered many times over. Neural networks are a good example (see Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning, Information Science and Statistics by Bishop). Yes, maybe someone else has done ...


1

You would have to find a university willing to go along and I think that would be pretty rare. Most MS degrees include at least some coursework, though some might let you design a program. I'll guess that a small, rather than a large, program would be more willing to let you design a personalized program, though it would take some convincing. But the bigger ...


1

Is there a way to survive that? Yes, there is. Daniel Hatton has hinted at it but I'll elaborate. During your research, there will be many failures and "schedule overruns". Thankfully, this is expected in academia - you are dealing with the unknown, after all. However, if the part you have failed at is actually already done by someone, it rapidly ...


1

Francis Crick did just this. Find a congenial environment. To do this, spend some time reading journals to find articles and scientists who do work that interests you. If they are at universities, apply. This is one of the rare cases where I would recommend contacting someone and meeting them to assess your past education and what you might need. You might ...


1

I am making some assumptions here, but even if the phenomenon turns out to be known and previously studied, you could rework your thesis to describe what novelty it brings to your field.


1

The point of a Ph.D. defense is to show that you know a specific topic to an expert level and can contribute to creating new knowledge in the area. There is no expectation that your work is flawless and spectacular. No sane examiner will kill your work at the defense. If there are serious flaws you will know in advance. Furthermore, you can defend only what ...


1

How likely is it that a reviewer will point out relevant research you missed? Unlikely. They have limited time and are unlikely to know the details like you do. It's more likely that they'll point out something that they think is related but is not actually related in my experience. How likely is it that you missed relevant research? 90% probability or ...


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