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Throwing away PhD notes

(15 Posts)
allegretto Sat 14-Oct-17 16:36:16

Hello. I am having a clear out and I have loads and loads of handwritten notes I made and articles I printed out for my PhD (which has now been awarded). Can I throw them out? I know this sounds really daft but a small part of me thinks "what if they made a mistake and I have to somehow prove that I wrote it?!". What did you do?

milkjetmum Sat 14-Oct-17 16:40:20

Depends on the type of data. For example I am in Stem and we have to keep data for 15years for human studies.

Have you published everything? I would keep data until publication in case you need to reanalyse.

But articles printed can go for sure (you can always get them again if you really need them)

allegretto Sat 14-Oct-17 16:42:25

I still have the data (transcripts of interviews) but I have loads of copies of early drafts of each of the chapters.

HarrietVane99 Sat 14-Oct-17 16:48:43

I've still got all mine, many years later. (Humanities) Not because I ever thought I'd need them for any official reason, but I have quite often wanted to refer back to the articles I photocopied (as it was back then!) or material I collected that I ended up not using in the thesis. Some of it I've used in articles, or for teaching purposes, over the years.

threadarick Sat 14-Oct-17 16:52:54

Can you scan them? Some photocopiers on our campus do that fast.

Timeforabiscuit Sat 14-Oct-17 16:54:01

Keep it ! Every day there are new, potentially desperate, people doing systematic reviews.

GlowWine Sat 14-Oct-17 16:57:25

I got rid of a filing cabinet full of photocopies in the last year or so, they are all easily available online now. As for data, mine involved programming and an attached CD (!), I think that's mostly superceded now, but I do have paper listing of everything.
I would definitely get rid of earlier drafts of chapters, surely the final version is the only one that counts? How long since it was awarded?

allegretto Sat 14-Oct-17 17:02:39

How long since it was awarded?

Six months.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 14-Oct-17 21:46:56


I ceremonially disposed of mine after submission, before the viva. Maybe the wrong thing to do, but it was very satisfying. I had a lot on computer, so I knew it would be ok.

I deleted the computerised notes after I graduated, keeping just the drafts for each chapter. Now even those are gone as my laptop gave up the ghost.

It is the most liberating feeling, and I think underrated.

GlowWine Sun 15-Oct-17 15:25:31

Ok, six months I can understand you're attached to them, and I'm glad I didn't dispose of mine before the Viva as my rewrite required a complete change of order for my chapters... But the early drafts, now the final version has been completed, awarded and everything, I would ditch, especially if you need the space (I just left most f my paperwork in said filing cabinet for a few years)

LaContessaDiPlump Sun 15-Oct-17 15:27:06

I got rid of loads of my notes the other day. I graduated 7 years ago grin

allegretto Sun 15-Oct-17 15:55:48

Thanks! I got rid of about a quarter of them in the end - enough to be satisfying but not enough to make me panic that I have thrown away something useful!

BobbinThreadbare123 Sun 15-Oct-17 15:59:40

I've still got mine! Really ought to bin them. I got my doctorate yonks ago. I need to Kondo my office!

10kToBe Fri 24-Nov-17 21:03:40

“Every day there are new, potentially desperate, people doing systematic reviews.” What does this mean in relation to keeping your notes please?

PiratePanda Mon 27-Nov-17 05:56:56

Don't throw your notes out! I still find mine useful now, 20 years after starting my PhD!

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