Invitation to complete a short survey on ‘Influential literature and scholars in the field of doctoral education’

As is easily discovered, I work as part of the Research Education Team in the Learning & Teaching Unit at the University of South Australia and I am currently working on a research project examining:

(a) the most influential and important literature to have come out of the scholarship of doctoral education/higher degrees by research, and

(b) which scholars are regarded by the broader community as being the most influential in the field.

If you can answer ‘yes’ to the following question, you are a member of that broader community, and I am inviting you to participate in a short, anonymous, online questionnaire (there are four questions in total) which should take between 2 and ten minutes to complete (depending on how much feedback you choose give).

The question is: ‘Have you actively engaged with the academic scholarship of and research into higher degrees by research (doctorates, Masters by research, research degrees) either as a researcher, a manager, a practitioner or someone who works in some other capacity with research degree students?’

If you answered ‘yes’ and want to contribute to the project, you will be asked a question about your geographic location and two further questions:

1. Who do you think have been or are the most influential writers in the broad field of research degrees? Please feel free to name up to five individuals in order of their influence.

2. If you were asked to nominate up to ten published items (books, articles, reports etc) for inclusion in a library of important and influential works in the field of the scholarship of higher degrees by research/doctoral education, which items would you select? (Please provide the authors and titles of the items.)

To participate in the survey, please follow this link: Influential literature and scholars in the field of doctoral education survey

Participation in the survey is entirely voluntary and participants may withdraw from the research at any time. Data will be collected anonymously and will be stored for five years in electronic format before being destroyed. Because the data collection is undertaken through an anonymous online questionnaire, it will not be possible to associate any particular data with any individual. No personal information will be collected. (This also means that once completed, it will not be possible to withdraw data already submitted.)

No risks to those participating in the research have been identified and any benefits will arise from your membership of the community of scholars and practitioners engaged in the field of doctoral education/higher degrees by research about which more will be known once the research is completed. It is anticipated that the project will feed into one or more journal articles and a report detailing the responses as regards the literature in the field. The publication of these will be advertised through the normal community networking channels, including the email lists through which participants have been recruited.

This project has been approved by the University of South Australia’s Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have any ethical concerns about the project or questions about your rights as a participant please contact the Executive Officer of this Committee, Tel: +61 8 8302 3118; Email:
If you have any questions or comments about the project, please feel free to contact me directly. My details are at the foot of this post.

I hope you will be able to contribute to this project.


Professor Alistair McCulloch, PhD
Head of Research Education
Learning & Teaching Unit
University of South Australia
Room P2-35, City East Campus – CEA-16
North Terrace
Adelaide, SA 5001

Phone: +61 (0)8 830 21150 Fax: +61 (0)8 830 22363

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