Week 1: The Production of Knowledge

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

  • Overview of the MI Fisheries Science graduate program
  • 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?
  • Introduction to reference management (with emphasis on Mendeley)

In-class Activities

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


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.

Eisen, J (2014). Using Google scholar in scholarly workflows. (http://www.googblogs.com/using-google-scholar-in-scholarly-workflows/)

Here are some excellent videos to get you started with Zotero: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYspUZGexLdDLjHRkuERQlg/videos


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 3: Google Scholar, ORCID, and Zotero

Students will be introduced to each of the above products and will be encouraged to register for them.

Lecture Slides

Slides available via speakerdeck