Somewhat of a beginning: The Paperless Dissertation

I completed my dissertation fairly recently, and if you’ve ever written, or are writing, a dissertation, then you are the member of a fairly exclusive club. More importantly, you know pretty much exactly the nightmare that I went through. I’ve learned from talking to and working with other students that, despite the differences in the final product, there are alarming consistencies in the process. Among these is the headache of the production. These headaches include getting articles for your literature review, reading them, citing them, taking notes in the margins, generating your own original ideas, and on and on. Then there is your committee. The myriad pains levied by these committees are too great to list, but that’s okay. You know what I’m talking about.
In the years leading up to actually beginning the formal process of producing the dissertation, I had worked on several other scientific original projects. Most of these didn’t amount to much, but I did refine my research workflow along the way. During the writing and research phase, I further refined this process, ultimately arriving at what I’ve got now. I don’t have a “system” or a “method” that is “guaranteed” in any way, shape, or form to make research painless. It won’t stop a committee from making your life hell, nor will it generate research for you (well, it actually sort of will). What I created was a way to substantially and measurably reduce the amount of grunt work that goes into the process of producing a doctoral level dissertation, while simultaneously increasing the quality of the final product. I created a way to do all of this, and without ever printing a single piece of paper.

One response to “Somewhat of a beginning: The Paperless Dissertation

  1. Pingback: The Paperless Dissertation « To Do: Dissertation·

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