I was recently accepted into a graduate biophysics program and have a couple questions about what I should expect going into my first semester. While I’m going into a physics PhD, I’d like general advice from any field. I have two specific questions, but welcome any advice that you are willing to share.

What is the biggest thing to overcome/accomplish during your first semester and a graduate student? Looking back, what is something you wish you would have done differently?

I am starting to feel like i am the only person who has dropped out of master of science degree program who has then gone back to college earned another bachelor’s degree (third) and then gone back to graduate school for slightly different masters degree program AND graduated. I am interested in what percentage of of people who have ANY master’s degree have done this, I also interested in why you decided to go back. For me. i did not “see” an alternative “path’ that would work for me. Yes, i DID have something to prove to myself, because was non-degree seeking continuing education student for 2 semesters when i went back to college.There was a reason for getting a third bachelor’s degree that made sense to me.

I am so tired of contacting potential supervisors and submitting applications only to get rejected! Is the problem in my qualifications!
I graduated university with a GPA of 4.94 out of 5 (A Saudi Arabian University), and then I got my masters from Warwick University with a Merit but a distinction on the dissertation. I scored 7.5 in the ielts exam as well.

Additional details: I am considered as an overseas student, and I have a sponsorship. My field is in digital marketing but my Bachelors was in Management Information Systems, and my masters was in e-Business Management. The research proposal I wrote discussed the bad and good behaviour of customers in the financial services industry, and its implications on the companies’ ecosystems.


I was wondering, suppose I have an arxiv paper citing my paper, does Researchgate or google scholar count it as if my paper was cited?

What if there are two versions (arxiv and peer reviewed) and lets say the citations do not all match, what then? (e.g. I would think counting at most once everything that is in either version is best. But, what actually happens?)

I am working on my second paper (as phd projects) which is an extension of my first paper. For my first paper, I will send it to a journal very soon. As I know acceptance of a paper by a journal is not an easy journey. Therefore, may I need to submit my paper for different journals (not at the same time) until it can find a place. My question is, how can I cite my first paper in my second one. I need to submit them at a very close time. For example, if I submit my first paper in this week (for example) then I may send the second one into two weeks (two weeks after the first one is submitted).

Any help, please?

What steps does a manuscript typically go through from submission to publication (or rejection) in a typical journal? How are these steps referred to, in particular by editorial systems, and how long do they each typically take?

Note that this question is about the typical situation and hence not about:

  • Journals with an atypical workflow, e.g. those that allow for an instantaneous reviewer–author interaction.
  • Exceptional steps or rare occurrences such as withdrawal or clerical errors.

This is a canonical question on this topic as per this Meta post. Due to its nature, it is rather broad and not exemplary for a regular question on this site. Please feel free to improve this question.

I am new to arXiv and when I asked several of my colleagues which license I should select for my submission, they tell me to use the one marked as default, referring to the “arXiv.org perpetual” license. However, the statement that implies that “perpetual” is default has been removed apparently. I am simply asking to find out why that is, and if anything important has changed recently.

Here is what the first page of an arXiv submission looked like in 2012, according to this blog:
enter image description here

Notice the underlined statement: Select arXiv perpetual unless you know exactly what you are doing.

Today it looks like this:
enter image description here

The default qualifier statement is gone! Why is that? Has anything changed?

I am a Ph.D. student. My supervisor frequently tells me if you want to do a review for journals, login into my account and perform the review. He never reviews any paper. He is very lazy and I have to do all of the submission of my articles into journal system myself using his account.

A while ago, I wanted to check a journal and I saw a pending invitation for review from a famous researcher, which I love his works very much, as associate editor of that journal. I accepted review and downloaded manuscript. I read the manuscript and wrote a detailed review of it, six pages long!. I recommended a major revision. It takes a lot of my time to read the references and perform the review. In my review, I suggested a set of improvements to the authors which I think will help them improve their work.

Today, I wanted to submit the review using my supervisor account. I suddenly noticed that my supervisor submitted a review. I am very upset as it took much of my time to perform this task. I read his review, a very short note to reject the manuscript, less than half a page long. Other anonymous reviewers recommended a minor revision.

What should I do? Is there any way to make the best use of my review? not to waste my time.

I’m a fourth year undergraduate student planning on applying to grad programs this fall. I will mainly be applying to PhD and research thesis master programs in machine learning and computer architecture. They would fall under the computer science or electrical/computer engineering departments.

I did part time research under a professor this school year. It was something I initiated/approached him about, asking for something interesting I could work on. We eventually co-authored a paper together and successfully published it.

Because of this being a positive experience, I plan on asking this professor for a reference letter for grad school. However, he has expressed interest in supervising me for grad school in the past, so I’m expecting him to ask me if I want to work with him again.

He was an incredible supervisor, and I really enjoyed the work, however I don’t see myself spending my life working in his field, so I’m not particularly interested in going to grad school for it. I’m looking for advice for how I can ask for a letter while refusing to work with him.

He’s obviously not a kid and I highly doubt he’ll take it personally, so I’m not worried about him being insulted. However, as I mentioned before, I approached him at the beginning of the year saying his work looked interesting. Additionally, he was happy with my work so he decided to pay me for it. My main concern is that he will be annoyed that I made him invest so much time and money in me only for me to then claim I’m not really interested in his work. I did find the work interesting, but not interesting enough to spend years working in it. His field is signal processing algorithms for radars, so fairly different from the machine learning and computer architecture programs I’ll be applying to.