Reflections on academic writing and publication for doctoral students and supervisors: reconciling authorial voice and performativity
Marchant, T, Anastasi, N & Miller, P 2011, 'Reflections on academic writing and publication for doctoral students and supervisors: reconciling authorial voice and performativity', International Journal of Organisational Behaviour, vol. 16, no, 2, pp. 13-29.
Published version available from:
The current research context in Australia and other countries such as the United Kingdom (UK) and New Zealand (NZ) is ‘performativity’. This provides opportunities for and obstacles to research higher degree (RHD) students developing their authorial voice. This paper illustrates how to facilitate improved academic writing and increased publishing from doctorates. Using mixed methods, it draws on interviews with eight doctoral students about writing under supervision, observations from a six year project to publish seven books, and six journal articles published from doctoral students’ work. Students experienced supervision as being ‘written over’ by their supervisors, in contrast to the constructive instruction on how to write which they sought, and which would enable them to develop and assert their own authorial voice. Publishing students’ work proved to be a long road, but persistence resulted in a one hundred percent success rate. Edited books serve to boost students’ confidence. Publication does not necessarily arise naturally from research training. The practical implications are that universities should provide more support to students and supervisors about constructive and confidence-producing ways to improve academic writing. Supervisors should negotiate with students on how to provide feedback. Although illuminated from three perspectives, the research is limited to two disparate Australian universities and small samples.