International Journal of Doctoral Studies (IJDS)

Online ISSN: 1556-8873  •  Print ISSN: 1556-8881


The academically peer refereed International Journal of Doctoral Studies (IJDS) endeavors to provide readers worldwide with high quality peer-reviewed scholarly articles on a wide variety of issues in doctoral studies using the Informing Science (IS) framework, as shown in our mission statement.

Articles in IJDS appear online as soon as published and can be accessed by anyone anywhere with no fee. This arrangement provides authors with the widest possible readership.


The mission of the International Journal of Doctoral Studies (IJDS) is to provide readers worldwide with high quality peer-reviewed scholarly articles spanning the wide variety of issues in doctoral studies. The editorial objective of IJDS is to inform all those involved with doctoral education regardless of specific discipline. IJDS articles discuss issues such as (but not limited to) the following: doctoral supervision, doctoral dissertation and/or research, the nature and future of doctoral programs, doctoral program design, experiences in doctoral programs, attrition and persistence in doctoral programs, doctoral qualifiers and examinations, doctoral program accreditation, copyright and intellectual properties in doctoral research, climate and support for doctoral study, career path and employment of doctoral graduates, as well as research and publication issues in academia.

IJDS has recently begun to accept articles which present pragmatic examples on how doctoral students can approach their research in terms of methodology, methods and theory development. This expansion to the range of articles published in IJDS stems from one of the larger predicaments doctoral students experience when they commence their research work. The challenge that many students face is their choice of an appropriate research methodology that will give structure to the research and influence the methods used for data acquisition and analysis. The understanding of the reciprocal actions between methodology, research questions and methods is imperative to the contribution a researcher will make to her or his discipline.

Whether a quantitative or qualitative approach or a combination of the two is preferable, depends on the underlying philosophy of the researcher (Carter & Little, 2007; Hathaway, 1995; Rabinowitz & Weseen, 1997). Carter & Little, 2007 list six methodologies that are generally applied in qualitative research: grounded theory approach; narrative, life history, testimony and biographical methodologies; ethnographies; participatory research; phenomenological traditions; and case study approaches. Quantitative research can be descriptive, correlational or experimental.

It is these areas of research that students struggle with the most, and it is here we as experienced researchers can make a contribution to ease this burden of choice, understanding and application.

Authors who wish to submit papers based on an account of a particular method must adopt the unique style presented in earlier papers submitted to IJDS – see for example:;;; The approach is unconventional in that it adds a first-person perspective which is stylistically differentiated through format (italics or underline). This style and format is required because submitted articles are expected to present methodological discussions from the perspective of a person who has used the approach and who can share their journey with both good and bad aspects presented.



Bowden, C., & Galindo-Gonzalez, S. (2015). Interviewing when you’re not face-to-face: The use of email interviews in a phenomenological study. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 10, 79-92.

Carter, S. M., & Little, M. (2007). Justifying knowledge, justifying method, taking action: Epistemologies, methodologies, and methods in qualitative research. Qualitative Health Research, 17, 10, 1316-1328. doi: 10.1177/1049732307306927

Dusek, G. A., Yurova, Y. V., & Ruppel, C. P. (2015). Using social media and targeted snowball sampling to survey a hard-to-reach population: A case study. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 10, 279-299.

Hathaway, R. S. (1995). Assumptions underlying Quantitative and Qualitative Research - Implications for Institutional Research Research in Higher Education, 36(5), 535-562. doi: 10.1007/bf02208830

Jones, M., & Alony, I. (2011). Guiding the Use of Grounded Theory in Doctoral Studies – An Example from the Australian Film Industry. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 6, 95-114.

Kelley, A. (2014).  Layers of consciousness: An autoethnographic study of the comprehensive exam process. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 9, 347-360.

Rabinowitz, V. C., & Weseen, S. (1997). Elu(ci)d(at)ing epistemological impasses: Re-viewing the qualitative/quantitative debates in psychology. Journal of Social Issues, 53, 4, 605-630. doi: 10.1111/0022-4537.00039



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