Creating Web Pages

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PhD students are encouraged to maintain a web page, to tell people within the school (and the rest of the world) about them and the research they do.


Mechanics of creating a webpage

To create a web page, first make a public_html directory under your home directory, and make sure it's world-readable (chmod go+r public_html/ in Linux. Note that your home directory also needs to be world-readable). Then write an index.html or index.php file, which is what will be displayed when someone navigates to

If you want to make your page match the school's layout, you can follow the Support Web instructions. This is fairly easy; however, the disadvantages are

  • You'll have to change your webpage when the school changes its website layout (which, according to Sod's Law, will happen when you are frantically trying to get a journal paper done)
  • It doesn't distinguish your page as belonging to you as much as having a unique layout does

Lazy method

Chris has created a PHP based homepage creation system which requires very little maintenance and HTML knowledge. Just download this zip[1] to your home directory and extract it. Then edit the file public_html/conf.php with your name/username and place your text in public_html/documents/*.txt. If you want to add more pages just create them in public_html/documents in the same format and add them to public_html/pages.txt.

There is a hidden file in the zip file which makes the entire site work, so make sure you extract the entire zip to the public_html directory or you will have problems.

You can read the README.txt file included for more information.

Content to include

  • Thesis topic
  • Provisional abstract
  • Name of supervisor and thesis committee
  • Papers, presentations, technical reports and discussion papers
  • A photograph (for those who don't object on principle)

(From an email from Aaron Sloman, 07/04/2007). Aaron also expanded on this in emails from 29/04/2008 and 26/11/2008:

In a proper research university every PhD student would be *required* to have a publicly visible web page showing:
  • The topic of research (whether provisional or not)
  • Start date
  • Name of supervisor(s) with link to web page(s)
  • Optional: other thesis group members, with links
  • All progress reports produced (in PDF or HTML format)
  • Summaries of progress achieved, updated at least twice a year
  • All research papers written, whether published or not, e.g. some could be discussion notes, technical reports, etc.
  • Optional: links to major research publications and research centres in the field, including a link to any relevant research web page in this school.
  • Preferably also a photograph so that we can recognise one another in corridors, coffee rooms, etc. (I.e. the photograph should not be too small, too dark, in disguise or use other silly devices that get in the way of serving the main purpose.) The photograph could be a duplicate of or a link to the one on the main research students web page, if appropriate.

See also

Personal tools