1 The Path to the Ph.D. in IS: Part 4, The Dissertation.
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1 The Path to the Ph.D. in IS: Part 4, The Dissertation
2 While working on the dissertation: Typical time from approved proposal to completed dissertation: 12- 18 months You should expect to do 2-3 drafts of the complete dissertation. Each draft should go to the primary advisor first and then the committee; will take about a month to get feedback from them all. Note that you must apply for graduation the semester BEFORE you want to graduate.
3 Contents of the Dissertation 1. The same chapters approx 1-5 as in your proposal, only the lit review and other chapters will need to be updated to reflect whatever new publications and new research questions etc. emerged in the meantime
4 New Chapters Results are often presented in two to three chapters. For a quantitative study: First results chapter is often descriptive data (eg, univariate analysis) showing means and standard deviations and such for questions or variables, also validity and reliability checks for your measures (e.g., factor analysis and Chronbach’s)
5 Results chapters Then there would typically be a chapter with hypothesis by hypothesis presentation of results ( eg, bivariate analysis) followed by a test of your entire model Might be a chapter on qualitative results if you have them too Dissertations that are primarily systems development and testing would be presented differently
6 Conclusion Chapter 1. summarizes your total results briefly 2. Discusses limitations and possible reasons for lack of anticipated results 3. Might present a revised model based on results 4. Explicitly lists and describes the contributions of the research 5. Describes future research plans
7 Preparing for the Defense 1. The final draft should be in the hands of the committee at least ONE MONTH (4 weeks) before the defense; otherwise the defense date is postponed. ( no exceptions) Deliver a print copy (in person or by mail) plus an electronic version. Then request a meeting or telephone call with each committee member about 2 weeks later to get feedback. (or email)…
8 (Preparing for the defense) 2. At the same time: “public announcement” is made of the defense: Student should post the title, abstract, place and time of the defense in the IS Seminar Webboard (“Clubhouse”); Advisor should announce to all CCS faculty; A copy must be made available for reading (on view in dept., or web site announced)
9 Defense procedures: Same as for the proposal, see that presentation…
10 Formatting of dissertation Graduate studies gives a seminar at least once a semester on the required format for the final dissertation; take it early and use this format from the beginning so you won’t have to edit. You will need special rag paper. Bring 10 copies of the sign off cover sheet on this special paper, to the defense.
11 Logistics of the defense Reserve a room and make sure you will have a projector, computer, and if needed a speaker phone for a remote participant. (Dept. Secretary can help with these). If using phone: give outside member the number to call in and your cell phone number.
12 At the Defense Emphasize the main theories and research questions (very short lit review); methods; findings; limitations; CONTRIBUTIONS; future research plans. Once again, max 30 slides, max 60 minutes including questions that interrupt. During the presentation, only the committee may interrupt and question.
13 (At the defense) After the presentation, round robin for comments and questions by all committee members. Then anybody may ask questions, until the committee chair cuts it off. This part usually lasts about an hour. Then the committee privately deliberates, finally calls candidate back for “the verdict.” Thus, three hours should be scheduled for the whole process just in case it is needed.
14 The Dissertation Defense The most usual outcome is “minor revisions,” which may take a month or more. Other possible outcomes are major revisions or failure. HOWEVER: the advisor and committee members should be confident before a defense is scheduled, that the result will not be failure! (If in doubt, postpone and revise). Usually- the committee signs the dissertation defense document, except for the advisor, who waits until all required revisions are completed to sign and turn in the form.
15 Who must be there? All of your NJIT members if at all possible Outside members if possible; otherwise, they must give detailed feedback and recommendations to the chair beforehand, (and they MAY come in by speakerphone… )
16 Post defense Dissertation defense form must be turned in, signed by advisor and director of Ph.D. program or department chair.
17 Completing Requirements After the content is accepted, the student must complete the dissertation in the required format(s), including the correct paper quality and number of copies, and deliver to the Graduate Office in time to get certified for graduation, which is about the date that grades are due each semester. An HTML version will go up on the NJIT website. Your advisor will “present” you on the stage at graduation (and thus is expected to attend!)
18 The Dissertation Committee- publishing results As you finish your thesis, make a plan for turning it into papers; target them. In papers deriving from the Ph.D. dissertation ( or the SOTA), the student is the first author and usually the main advisor is the second author. Usually, you will show the one or more committee members who made contributions to the part of the dissertation on which the paper is based, as coauthors. They should be given a draft for suggestions and to approve their inclusion as a coauthor.
19 Notes: Also read the section on the Ph.D. in the NJIT graduate catalog, for rules and procedures that apply to all programs. While you are completing your dissertation, you will also need to be job hunting. Peak activity is the fall of the year and very early spring, for campus visits; AMCIS interviews in August and ICIS interviews in December.
20 After graduation: Stay in touch! Keep publishing! Come back and visit the seminar and give a presentation on life after the Ph.d..... ? Contribute money to the IS graduate students fund?? ( eg, B.A. Suresh contributed some of the funds that paid for AMCIS for students one semester) Send us your best students!