A Juggling Act: Supervisor/Candidate Partnership in a Doctoral Thesis by Publication

rohan nethsinghe, Jane Southcott
International Journal of Doctoral Studies  •  Volume 10  •  2015  •  pp. 167-185
Increasingly doctoral candidates are attempting to complete a thesis by publication. This format varies between universities but there are common issues particularly in terms of progression, planning and timing. There are both advantages and difficulties involved in undertaking a thesis in this format. Our discussion of the supervisor/candidate partnership is framed within the requirements of a tight journal publishing agenda. Different universities have different requirements about the number of published papers to be included, the extent of candidate’s contribution as sole or joint author, the framing of the research as a unified thesis, presentation, and examination. The decision to attempt a thesis by publication must be taken early and data collection may need to be completed early. Articles then need to be written, polished, submitted, reviewed, revised and, hopefully, accepted. The thesis by publication is a juggling act between maintaining coherence and focusing on publishable segments. It is also a dialogue between supervisor and candidate involving the resolution of sometimes conflicting demands. Employing Cognitive Apprenticeship theory we present a shared autophenomenography that chronicles our doctoral journey that led to a successful thesis by publication. The findings are discussed under thematic headings: Logistics, Cognitive Apprenticeship in Action, and Building Trust.
Doctoral supervision, thesis with publication, cognitive apprenticeship, mentoring, building trust, shared autophenomenography
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