Ph.D. by Publication or Monograph Thesis? Supervisors and candidates Negotiating the Purpose of the Thesis when Choosing Between Formats

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Abstract

In this chapter, I investigate how the Ph.D. by publication has become more and more prevalent within the humanities and the social sciences over the last couple of de-cades in Denmark. Based on interviews with Ph.D. supervisors and doctoral candidates at two Danish universities, I analyze how they articulate, construct, and imagine the thesis when they legitimize their choice of and preference for thesis format, be it the monograph thesis or the Ph.D. by publication. This analysis shows how the choice of thesis format is most often legitimized through instrumental discourses, emphasizing what it does for individuals or institutions rather than what it does for disciplines and knowledge. Terms like completion, re-sults, competency, career, status, statistics, and return on invest-ment are common—foregrounding how the thesis contributes to individual or institutional performance. Interestingly, within this instrumental way of talking and thinking about the thesis, the monograph thesis is beginning to be seen as a less ideal or legitimate format and the Ph.D. by publication is being seen as a more obvious choice. Alongside these instrumental ideas and imaginings, there are other discourses at work imagining the thesis in terms of being an intellectual endeavor, a process of inquiry and knowledge transformation, and a contributor to knowledge and disciplines. Nevertheless, in this chapter I show how drawing on intellectual discourses alone is insuffi-cient when it comes to arguing for participants’ choice of thesis format regardless if it is the monograph thesis or the Ph.D. by publication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRe-imagining Doctoral Writing
EditorsCecile Badenhorst, Brittany Amell, James Burford
Number of pages16
PublisherUniversity Press of Colorado
Publication date2021
Pages71-86
Chapter3
ISBN (Print)978-1-64642-271-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-64215-135-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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