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Examining the Experiences of Doctoral Researchers with Professional Backgrounds Writing for Publication

Kristin Solli, associate professor at the Unit for Academic Language and Practice at OsloMet, joins us on campus for a seminar on the 2nd June. She will draw from a study of doctoral researchers with a professional background and their experiences of writing for publication. The seminar will also include a more general discussion of empirical data collection, in particular the use of visual instruments in data generation and analysis. Please click the calendar invite for a longer description of the seminar


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This talk draws from a study that interviewed PhD candidates with previous professional careers in health, social work, and education about their experiences of writing for publication. Such doctoral candidates often face challenges in terms of being an expert in their field of practice but a novice in academia and have to negotiate multiple discourse communities with different interests and expectations. How do such negotiations shape the doctoral trajectory of “becoming a researcher”  and the rhetorical choices these doctoral researchers face when they write?

The study used a visual interview instrument called a “communities plot” (Sala-Bubaré & Castelló, 2017) to attempt to capture how the doctoral researchers understood their position in relation to various professional and research communities of importance to them. The talk will end by asking participants to help discuss the use visual instruments in data generation and data analysis. What are some of the benefits of using such visual tools and what are some of the challenges? Participants are encouraged to bring in their own examples and experiences of using visual tools, instruments, and approaches in the generation and analysis of empirical data.


Kristin Solli is associate professor at the Unit for Academic Language and Practice at OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University in Norway. Her research interests include doctoral education, doctoral writing, writing pedagogy, and the thesis by publication as a genre. Recent publications include work on time and temporality in educational practices , writing challenges for doctoral writers who write a thesis by publication, and the book Strategies for Writing A Thesis By Publication in the Social Sciences and Humanities (Routledge, 2021). She teaches various writing courses and workshops for students and researchers at OsloMet.


Sala-Bubaré, A. & Castelló, M.  (2017) Exploring the relationship between doctoral students’ experiences and research community positioning, Studies in Continuing Education, 39:1, 16-34, DOI: 10.1080/0158037X.2016.1216832