Publishing your PhD; Negotiating a Crowded Jungle

Johnson N. F. (2011)

Reviewer: Professor R. H. Haigh – Emeritus Professor Sheffield Hallam University

According to Delamont et al (1997); ‘supervising doctoral students is one of the most satisfying things that anyone in higher education can do. Watching a new scholar become an independent researcher, conduct a project, write up the results, present them at a conference and see their first publications is a wonderful experience’…to which I would fully accord. However, having supervised doctoral students for more than thirty years I am of the firm belief that students should whenever possible be actively encouraged to publish written work applicable to their research during the process of research leading up to the final compilation of the finished thesis. Whilst it is generally accepted that the priority should be attainment of the award of PhD and thereby leading on to publication(s) germane to the thesis content, thankfully increasingly more doctoral supervisors see tremendous added value in the process of both research and enhanced approach to academic writing by way of pre-award publishing. Indeed numerous examining bodies look favourably on doctoral students who have endeavoured in the preparation, presentation and publication of a research note or notes attributable to the overriding research intention.

It has been my experience that encouraging students to publish research notes, résumés, methodologies, literature reviews and briefings germane to their ongoing research significantly enhances confidence and ability in use of academic language, in short ‘the how’ of academic writing. Furthermore, such publication encourages opportunity for feedback and discourse from valuable external parties who share common interests in respective subject areas. This book however uses PhD completion as the starting point for publication and whilst I obviously do not concur in such an approach I do roundly applaud that it does focus on proffering emotional and collegial support to the early career researcher who might find themselves bereft of same, and rightly dispels nepotistic notions of Professoriate superiority.

Dr Nicola F. Johnson recently published The Multiplicities of Internet Addiction: The Misrecognition of Leisure and Learning with Ashgate (2009). She is a senior lecturer in teacher education in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, Victoria, Australia. Nicola is an early career researcher who has recently been awarded her PhD (2008) and commenced a full-time career as an academic in early 2007.

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