For a long time there was a password needed to access my thesis. There where two reasons: some elements where not yet published in peer-reviewed journal, and some elements where not only to be published on my own website. This is because some journals only allow publication of your own work after some time passed since publication.
A couple of things have changed that have led me to remove the password lock: a lot of time has passed and if that amount of time is not enough I don’t care anymore. That sounds perhaps bad ass, but of course it isn’t – especially since most ideas have been published already. It is a mere results of some slight changes that I went through over the last couple of months regarding publishing and the relationship between authors and journals.Do not be surprised if I will make some remarks to these changes when i provides some more updates on this blog.
The Cicero, the monthly magazine of the LUMC, wrote an article on my thesis. During the interview, I was able to bring fort the nuances of the work in the thesis. That is, my thesis does not fully provide all the answers in details for allr esearch questions but it does provide a simple overview: an increased clotting potential is a risk factor for ischaemic stroke but not for moycardial infarction. Unfortunately, space limitations dictated that some remarks had to be left out. Fortunately, the last remarks is about the relevance of teaching experience as a PhD: a great link to one of my propositions.
The picture above was placed in the Cicero to accompany the interview. I like it very much because it has a certain epidemiological feel to it: a group (a cohort?) of women all different, but with certain patterns.
I noticed that some of you want to download the Dutch summary, which I’ve put behind a password due to copyright reasons. Although necessary for some chapters, this is a bit silly for the Dutch Summary. Therefore, you can find the link to the file on this page, or click directly here (pdf)
The American Book Center decided to actively promote thesis printing by their EBM. They asked me whether they could use the cover of my thesis on their promotional material because of the nice design Iris made for the cover. Since the EBM operator Joe was very helpful during the lay-out and printing process, I am willing to promote the EBM from the ABC! Curious what I am talking about? Please refer to my previous post on printing my thesis.
On february 5th I got to defend my thesis. On 13.45 the discussion started and I tried to answer all questions as clear as possible. After 45 minutes (“hora est”) the opposition committee retreated and discussed whether or not I passed the test. In the Netherlands it is never really a question on whether you make it or not: it’s more a ceremony than a true exam. So, when the acting rector magnificus told me that the committee decided to grant me my doctorate, that was not really a surprise. However, I was surprised to hear that it was decided that I passed with honors (a.k.a. cum laude). What a surprise and honor! I enjoyed the rest of the day celebrating with family, friends and colleagues. This was a great way mark the end of 4.5 years working on this thesis. Now it is time for new adventures!
I chose to publish and distribute my thesis online, but rules and regulations also dictate that you have printed copies. I used the EBM to save time, money, bookshelf space and the environment, so getting the hardcopy wasn’t that difficult.
But when printed there is not much you can do about any errors. And as any doctor would tell you…. all thesis have errors in them. Some major, most minor, but still an error is an error. Using a website can help to correct minor errors after publishing. Although you have to worry whether your version is still the most up-to-date, only the use of a hard-copy variant doesn’t even give you the opportunity to decide whether you want to make a new version, and therefore having an electronic way of publishing something is desirable
So why do I tell you this all? A co-author on one of the chapters in my thesis (BML from the UK) noticed an error; I mixed up the cover pages of chapter 10 and 11. Luckily, the scientific content and the textual integrity of the thesis is not affected by this mistake. So, I just could leave the error be, but I decided to correct the error and place a new electronic version on the download page.
A PhD defense in the Netherlands is a highly protocolised ceremony (plechtigheid). No clapping, only pictures at some moments, scripted words, weirds dresses, unwritten do’s and dont’s… it can be quite confusing. Want to know more?Have a look at the webpage of the universty of Leiden.
I decided to go the all the way: I published my thesis. So not only did I write my thesis, I also published a book. My publisher -pfoe thats sounds posh- is the The American Book Center – AnyBook Press and the ISBN is 978-94-91030-39-0.
Instead of the standard 300 copies of thesis that are sent to other scientist, I decided that I wanted to do things a little different: other scientist can look up the original publications, and friends and family only read the Dutch summary and the acknowledgements. Therefore, I am not printing 300 copies, but only a fraction of that number; the obligatory copies for the dean, university, committee and library (i.e. 30 copies or so).
Everybody else can either download the full version or the Dutch Summary in a couple of days time. Not only do a lot of people prefer pfds anyway, it saves time, money and trees. If you really want to have a physical book, you can order a copy with me. Click here for more information.
This is all possible because I am not publishing this book the old fashion way, But I am using the printing-on-demand espresso book machine, or EBM. This machine is a great invention: just bring two pdfs – the cover and the text- and 8 minutes later, PRESTO! your book. Take a look at the video below.
A great benefit is that it is also possible to print just 1 book check for errors, adapt your text and lay out, and only then order the rest of the books needed. I love the EBM. The machine can be found all around the US, and only in two places in Europe. Luckily for me, both are in the Netherlands; they are located in the American Book Center stores of which one is located in The Hague -only 143 meters away from my home-. So, last week I printed my first test copy, with some great help by EBM operator Joe. Yippie!