Typical scope of time commitment and research outputs of Thesis by Publication in Australia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Higher Education Research and Development




School of Education




Mason, S., Merga, M. K., & Morris, J. E. (2020). Typical scope of time commitment and research outputs of Thesis by Publication in Australia. Higher Education Research & Development, 39(2) 244 -258. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2019.1674253


The Thesis by Publication (TBP) is an approach to doctoral education that offers the advantage of achievement of a doctoral degree while at the same time facilitating development of transferable knowledge and skills necessary to enter and sustain a career in contemporary academia. There is a need to build deeper understanding of the demands of the TBP, and the characteristics of those who select it over the more common traditional approach to enable universities to provide doctoral education programmes and policies that are responsive to doctoral students’ needs. Such knowledge can also facilitate timely completion, and improve understanding of the extent of TBP candidates’ contribution to institutions’ research outputs. This study draws on survey data from 246 doctoral graduates from universities in Australia, where the TBP is comparatively new but increasing in popularity. The article identifies the characteristics of candidates who complete a TBP in Australia, before exploring the typical scope of time commitment, through making visible their length of candidature. Finally, volume, type, authorship and publication status of research outputs are detailed, enabling prospective candidates and their supporting institutions to gauge the possible scope of time commitment and research outputs to inform support services and policies, and to guide supervisory and student choices between traditional and TBP models. © 2019, © 2019 HERDSA.



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