Week 1: The Production of Knowledge

September 11, 2017

Welcome to graduate school! It has been said that grad school is where you transition from becoming a knowledge-consumer to a knowledge-producer. In Week 1 we will explore what this means, and discuss how to make the most out of your time as a graduate student at the Marine Institute.

Lecture Topics

  • Discuss knowledge production - what do scientists do all day?
  • Concept: The workflow of science. Explain how each MI fisheries course supports this workflow
  • Why communicate?
    • Inside the ivory tower:
      • Communication (i.e. paper) as the fundamental unit of scientific credit
      • The workflow of science is fundamentally based on communication
    • Outside the ivory tower:
      • Managing fisheries is managing people - achieving this requires engagement
      • The public pays for our work and they should get to hear about it
      • Scientific literacy - if scientists don’t speak, who will?
  • Graduate research can change the world - Examples from real life
  • Introduction to reference management (with emphasis on Mendeley)

In-class Activities

  • Introduction to the MI Fisheries Slack (https://mifish.slack.com/)
  • Round-table introductions
  • Becoming Discoverable: Set up a Google Scholar profile and ORCID (https://scholar.google.ca/ and http://orcid.org/)
  • Download and install Mendeley (https://www.mendeley.com/)


I strongly recommend (but stop short of requiring) that you purchase copies of the two course reference books:

Heard, Stephen B (2016). The Scientist’s Guide to Writing: How to Write More Easily and Effectively Throughout Your Scientific Career. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, p. 255. ISBN: 9780691170220.

Olson, Randy (2015). Houston, We Have a Narrative: Why Science Needs Story. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, p. 256. ISBN: 9780226270845.

I also recommend you visit http://collections.plos.org/ten-simple-rules - a series of papers that provide introductory advice to many topics relevant to reserachers.


Activity 1: Joining the MI Slack

I have set up a Slack for the SOF grad program. I will send invitations to all registered students to add themselves to this. There will be a private channel for each course in the program (data, fishlectures, and scicomm) as well as a #general, #jobs, and #papers group. Slack is a communication tool so that students can easily contact each other, collaborate, etc.

In this activity, explain Slack, its relationship to email, and the purpose of each channel. (15 min)

Activity 2: Introduction Activity

Students pair up with someone they don’t know. In pairs:

  • Student A: Introduces student B (< 1 min): Name, supervisor, where they did undergrad (and M.Sc) degrees.
  • Student B: Introduces themsleves (< 3 min): Origin story: How did you get INTO research? (and vice versa)

(5 min prep, 10 min per pair)

Activity 4: Google Scholar and ORCID

Students will create a Google Scholar profile and ORCID. Lecture will explain WHY these are helpful assets. (15 min)

Activity 5: Reference management

Lecture will explain the purpose of reference management. Students will be asked to download and install Mendeley, and add one or more papers to the reference library. (15 min)

Lecture Slides

Slides available via speakerdeck