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Becoming a scholar by publication – PhD students citing in interdisciplinary argumentation

Becoming a scholar by publication – PhD students citing in interdisciplinary argumentation The purpose of this paper is to analyse scholarly subjectivity in the context of citation practices in interdisciplinary PhD research.Design/methodology/approachThe paper provides an analysis of longitudinal series of qualitative interviews with PhD students who write scholarly articles as dissertation components. Conceptualizations of subjectivity within practice theories form the basis for the analysis.FindingsScholarly argumentation entails a rhetorical paradox of “bringing something new” to the communication while at the same time “establishing a common ground” with an audience. By enacting this paradox through citing in an emerging interdisciplinary setting, the informants negotiate subject positions in different modes of identification across the involved disciplines. In an emerging interdisciplinary field, the articulation of scholarly subjectivity is a joint open-ended achievement demanding knowledgeability in multiple disciplinary understandings and conducts. However, identifications that are expressible within the informants’ local site, i.e. interactions with supervisors, other seniors and peers, are not always expressible when negotiating subject positions with journals.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to research on citation practices in emerging interdisciplinary fields. By linking the enactment of citing in scholarly writing to the negotiation of subject positions, the paper provides new insights about the complexities involved in becoming a scholar. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

Becoming a scholar by publication – PhD students citing in interdisciplinary argumentation

Journal of Documentation , Volume 75 (2): 23 – Feb 19, 2019

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0022-0418
DOI
10.1108/jd-06-2018-0101
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyse scholarly subjectivity in the context of citation practices in interdisciplinary PhD research.Design/methodology/approachThe paper provides an analysis of longitudinal series of qualitative interviews with PhD students who write scholarly articles as dissertation components. Conceptualizations of subjectivity within practice theories form the basis for the analysis.FindingsScholarly argumentation entails a rhetorical paradox of “bringing something new” to the communication while at the same time “establishing a common ground” with an audience. By enacting this paradox through citing in an emerging interdisciplinary setting, the informants negotiate subject positions in different modes of identification across the involved disciplines. In an emerging interdisciplinary field, the articulation of scholarly subjectivity is a joint open-ended achievement demanding knowledgeability in multiple disciplinary understandings and conducts. However, identifications that are expressible within the informants’ local site, i.e. interactions with supervisors, other seniors and peers, are not always expressible when negotiating subject positions with journals.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to research on citation practices in emerging interdisciplinary fields. By linking the enactment of citing in scholarly writing to the negotiation of subject positions, the paper provides new insights about the complexities involved in becoming a scholar.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 19, 2019

Keywords: Interdisciplinary research; Information practices; Scholarly communication; Subjectivity; Citation behaviour; PhD research

References