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Sunday, 1 May 2011

Publishing on internet - Research Supervision - ANU


Research overview & references

Jim Cumming, a recent ANU doctoral candidate, suggests that with the development of the internet has come a range of communication methods for researchers. These include:

  • Blogs
  • Research websites where papers are posted prior to formal publication
  • Online journals
  • Wikis
  • Skype

An interesting development at the doctoral level in recent years has been a steady growth in the practice of blogging, whereby the experiences of candidates are not only documented but also publicly accessible. To see a range of blogs compiled by PhD candidates, supervisors and anything PhD related, visit

As part of my own doctoral research I have observed a 100 per cent increase in the number of blogs registered on the phdweblogs site during my candidature (2004-07). My notes reveal the number of blogs registered have been as follows: 285-15 May 2005; 453-17 September 2006; and 500-25 July 2007. An interesting feature of this site is that the number of doctoral blogs in Australia ranks third in the world with 34 PhD blogs, after the USA (194) and the UK (69). Another is the multidisciplinary nature of these blogs. On registering individuals are required to self-select their research area against a broad classification. Unsurprisingly, 'Social Sciences-General' is the top category with 128 posts, however, 'Multidisciplinary' is second with 100. This is inherently interesting given that most other disciplinary classification schemes fail to include inter-, trans-, or multi-disciplinary categories (e.g. RFCD, DEST, ANZIC, SEO, ISI).

Intrigued by this online mode of communication and interaction I initiated my own blog- on 5 May 2005. The National Library approached me not long after it was up and running with a view to registering as part of their online database. I maintained the blog until the final stages of my candidature in 2007. During that time I recorded over 30 posts and generated over 3,000 hits. While it did not generate the level of interaction that I envisaged originally, it could be seen as constituting a public record of one candidate's activities. As such it provides an additional point of reference in the field of doctoral education, as well as a potential data source for those researching in the field of doctoral education in years to come.

Read article in Weekend Australian

Jim Cumming
Former Doctoral Candidate,
ANU August 2007

Ideas & tools

Nader Ale Ebrahim, a doctoral candidate at the university of Malya argues that the internet can be used effectively to disseminate one's research, for e.g.:

Useful questions to ask yourself:

What communication media best suit your discipline?

How are candidates supported in utilising these media?

What particular skills are required for different forms of communication?

Publishing on internet - Research Supervision - ANU

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