Towards an academic self? Blogging during the doctorate

Inger Mewburn, Pat Thomson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    During their PhD candidature, doctoral researchers must become expert in research practice. They must produce a well-argued thesis, which demonstrates a contribution to scholarly knowledge. However, doctoral researchers produce more than a hefty tome and intellectual ‘stuff’: they also manufacture themselves as ‘scholars’. Much of the work of constructing an academic self occurs in and through writing. When researchers make writing choices, they conform, adapt, reframe or resist dominant academic textual genres. Crafting a text involves strategic syntactical and lexical choices, such as who to cite and who and how to critically evaluate – the sum of these choices constructs a particular kind of scholar. When others read this work, they interpret and respond to it: they ‘see’ the researcher, their text and their scholarship as one. Through scholarly practices such as review, feedback, interrogation, critique and rejection, the writer also forms a view of how her work, her scholarship and herself as a scholar are viewed. These understandings influence the writing. This other/self cycle, mediated through text, is now framed by international and national regimes which use citation indices, subject league tables and various forms of metricised audits. Writing the text and writing the self now extends to writing the institution – and it is this combination of self, text and institution that is folded into the contemporary PhD experience.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Digital Academic
    Subtitle of host publicationCritical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315473604
    ISBN (Print)9781138202573
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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