The Self in Research and Other Matters: A Study of Doctoral Students’ Conceptions

Rod Pitcher (The Centre for Educational Development and Academic Methods, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)

International Journal for Researcher Development

ISSN: 2048-8696

Publication date: 1 April 2010


This study uses metaphor analysis to examine doctoral students’ conceptions obtained from their responses to an on‐line survey. The conceptions examined were the conception of self in research, the conception of the PhD, the conception of knowledge, and the conception of the outcomes of research. The conceptions found were allocated to the categories of “organic”, “spatial”, “explorative” and “constructive”, the same categories as were used in a previous study of the students’ conceptions of research. A number of interesting relationships were found and are discussed, including the relationship of the conceptions to each other and to the demographic data obtained in the survey. Some tentative conclusions are discussed and some speculation indulged in. Since the supervisor/student relationship may be affected by any mis‐match between their conceptions, that mis‐match, if present, will also affect the student’s progress and development.



Pitcher, R. (2010), "The Self in Research and Other Matters: A Study of Doctoral Students’ Conceptions", International Journal for Researcher Development, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 248-256.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.