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PhD by publication

A slide show about questions and issues that a writer needs to take into account when writing the text that accompanies papers. The show is designed for PhD students that are undertaking a PhD by publication.

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PhD by publication

  1. 1. The “exegesis” in PhD by publication Pat Thomson 2019
  2. 2. A choice – monograph or papers • What kinds of questions and projects are more suited to monographs? • What kind of questions and projects are more suited to a papers approach? • What disciplinary conventions sit behind the value given to each PhD form? • What advantage might there be for the PhDer in each form (e.g. career, learning a text genre important for future work)
  3. 3. Each form has a text form PhD by publication has an Exegesis in addition to the papers This is a critical explanation of the papers, not a summary or synthesis (the term exegesis is derived from scriptural practice) The text is known as Kappa in Nordic countries
  4. 4. The PhD is • A demonstration that the candidate knows how to conduct research • An original contribution to knowledge
  5. 5. The PhD by publication • is an original contribution to knowledge - the contribution - the papers must add up to something able to be understood as the contribution - original – it is the candidate’s own work – so it must be possible for the examiner to see/track/audit what the candidate has done - it is original in relation to the field of study – it must be well- grounded in scholarly literatures (this might also include ‘grey’ literatures)
  6. 6. The PhD by monograph • The PhD er demonstrates, through an elaborated explanation of methods, that they can – devise a researchable question and project – design a research project which will generate data which affords an ‘answer; – justify their choice of approach, sample, method etc, that is, show they have an understanding of other methodological options and thus also know the advantages and limitations of their choices – analyse data rigorously and with reflexivity – understand and abide by ethical practices – communicate their decisions logically and clearly and in appropriate scholarly written form
  7. 7. The PhD by publication must also • elaborate a research question, linked, sub or cumulative research questions • design a research project or projects which will generate data which affords an ‘answer’ • justify their choice of approach, sample, method etc, understanding other options and limitations of their choices • analyse data rigorously and with reflexivity • understand and use ethical practices • communicate their decisions logically and clearly and in appropriate scholarly form
  8. 8. Some issues for the PhDer to consider
  9. 9. A contribution • A monograph has a clear warrant for its project found in policy, practice or extant knowledge (gap, niche, problematisation, puzzle) • Papers establish separate warrants - a warrant for the particular, not the overall project • The exegesis needs to establish the warrant for the overall project/agenda/approach
  10. 10. Locating the original contribution • Monographs typically show an extended survey of the literatures, locate the overall study and the potential contribution and discuss what the particular research uses/debates/problematises • Papers typically require only a short minimal literature review • If the examiner is to be assured that the candidate knows their field, the exegesis must demonstrate that a critical survey of the literature has been undertaken.
  11. 11. Methodology and methods • Typically even the most methodologically inclined journal articles are light on method compared to what would be elaborated in a monograph. • Establishing to doctoral examiners - who have a different job to journal referees- that the candidate knows how to conduct research to scholarly standards may require more detail than is in published papers. • The exegesis needs in part to focus on the scholarship - the ‘process’ requirement.
  12. 12. Contribution in PhD by publication • A monograph articulates its contribution in the conclusion • So the question for the exergesis is, What do the papers add up to? • There must be a summary and synthesis of the overall contribution • The exegesis must establish that the sum is greater than/different from each of the parts
  13. 13. A trap for the exegesis writer • Inadequate explanation of the papers and what each of them contributes to the overall project • Th examiner needs to see that the papers are related and they make sense as a ‘set’ • The candidate must provide a commentary for the examiner on inter-relationships between papers, and how flow and coherence was established
  14. 14. So What? • The examiner must be left in no doubt about the contribution and its implications for further research and in education, generally policy and/or practice. The ‘conclusion’ requirement is the same for both monograph and by publication. • The PhD by publication might also go back to the question of choice of papers and discuss what further papers might be written from their research. • Limitations of the research – the PhDer might also consider what is gained and lost through choice of papers
  15. 15. ‘original’ contribution in PhD by publication • The candidate’s own work – how much is the supervisor’s work – – a pedagogical question for supervisors about how much they decide on content and write actual texts of papers. – An ethical question for supervisors – should they first author? second author? What criteria to use for not appearing as an author? • The final text must show the examiner what the candidate actually did
  16. 16. Some related institutional concerns • How are co-authored papers to be counted in audit regimes? As the work of the supervisor? Or the doctoral candidate? ( If doctoral candidates are also counted as employees then this is perhaps not an issue?) • What if the supervisor only publishes papers co- written with doctoral researchers?

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