Why I Don’t Use Citation Managers

It wasn’t until I tried using a citation manager that I realized that I am not a citation manager person.

No, I won’t apologize for my choices, or my opinions about citation managers. And I can honestly say that I made it to the end of my PhD without changing my mind.

One additional caveat: despite my anti-citation manager stance, I have no problem with people who use them! You do you! Everyone’s experience with them is different, and I 100% can accept that. Hopefully you can, too. Otherwise, I’m not sure why you’re here.

So, why don’t I use a citation manager? Read on to find out!

Black woman wearing dark glasses and a black turtleneck working on a computer at a table.
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The Truth About Grad School Funding

Reflecting on my experience with funding in grad school, I wondered: what does “fully funded” grad program really mean?

Now that I’m on the other side of it, I think that the “fully funded” PhD programs that my professors told me to apply to are really a myth. No grad program will support you financially 100% of the time. It’s more like somewhere between 70-80%.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to figure out how to make up for the remainder. This could involve anything from applying for fellowships to getting a part-time job.

There are so many moving parts when it comes to funding in grad school. In this week’s post, I’m reflecting on my own experience with funding as a grad student. I’m also sharing some things to consider so that your own experiences are as painless as possible.

Legs crossed on the ground with a clear Starbucks cup in front of them
Contemplating my life choices on a visit to UCLA ca. 2016
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BIPOC Feature: Hardeep Singh Dhindsa

One of the things that I wanted to do with Notes From the Apotheke was to amplify the voices and contributions of BIPOC scholars in ancient Mediterranean studies, at all levels and from all backgrounds. BIPOC in the field are invited to reflect on what brought them to studying the ancient world, as well as offer their opinions on the future of the discipline and share any work they are especially proud of or excited about.

This month’s installment of the series features Hardeep Singh Dhindsa, a third year Classics PhD student in the UK and art historian of Early Modern Europe whose work interrogates the role Classics has played in the development of (white) British identity.

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Defense Presentations (Hidden Curriculum #13)

In last week’s post, I provided an overview of what the dissertation defense is, and what my experience with it was nearly two months ago. This week, I want to unpack a part of my defense that, although virtually unheard of in my department, is common in others – defense presentations.

There are three main components of my preparation for this milestone in my graduate career: the outline, the slide deck, and the presentation.

Whether you’re preparing for a defense that is imminent or you’re in the early stages of your degree, I hope this post will be helpful!

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How I Survived My Defense (and You Can Too!)

There are a lot of examinations while earning a PhD. Many line up with major milestones of the degree. In general, these are: comprehensive exams, preliminary exams, and a thesis defense.

Of those, the defense was the most emotionally and mentally challenging.

The reasons why are summarized nicely in a blog post by Albert Kuo. Giving a public presentation, not wanting to disappoint anyone (especially your dissertation chair), and the unknowns of the closed-door session are all extremely anxiety-inducing.

In this week’s post, I’m revisiting that harrowing time in the hopes that it will help others going into this process for the first time. 

Laptop open with text on the screen next to a second monitor and in front of a window.
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6 Things I Learned While Finishing My Dissertation

Do you ever look back on your grad school journey and wonder how the heck you made it so far? Well, now that I’ve successfully defended my dissertation, that’s where I’m at.

I’m not sure how I made it through the last seven years. I do, however, have a better sense of what it took to finish the dissertation. In this post, I am sharing 6 things I learned in the last few months of writing my dissertation.

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Grad School Interview 101 (Hidden Curriculum #12)

You just got invited for a grad school interview – now what??

When I was applying to graduate programs, I attended two campus visits and they couldn’t have been more different from one another.

I visited Ann Arbor for a grad school interview. Black woman wearing black hat, black coat, and jeans, in front of sign that says 'Welcome to Ann Arbor'

One was an “accepted students weekend” – less of an interview, more of a get-to-know-the-program situation. The other was more of a full-blown “interview” – my days were a mix of meetings with faculty, heads of departments, and informal socializing with students.

It’s helpful to know what kind of weekend you’re getting into before you go.

In this post, I talk more specifically about preparing for an “interview” weekend, but a lot of this advice will be helpful for any kind of recruitment situation.

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BIPOC Feature: Kiran Mansukhani

One of the things that I wanted to do with Notes From the Apotheke was to amplify the voices and contributions of BIPOC scholars in ancient Mediterranean studies, at all levels and from all backgrounds. BIPOC in the field are invited to reflect on what brought them to studying the ancient world, as well as offer their opinions on the future of the discipline and share any work they are especially proud of or excited about.

Check out the latest installment of this series — a post written by Kiran Mansukhani, a PhD student in Classics at Brown University!

Photo included with permission of the author.
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BIPOC Feature: Najee Olya

One of the things that I wanted to do with Notes From the Apotheke was to amplify the voices and contributions of BIPOC scholars in ancient Mediterranean studies, at all levels and from all backgrounds. BIPOC in the field are invited to reflect on what brought them to studying the ancient world, as well as offer their opinions on the future of the discipline and share any work they are especially proud of or excited about.

The series is back with a much-appreciated contribution by Najee Olya, a PhD candidate in Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Virginia.

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