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Demonstrating personal stature: some strategies for the LIS higher doctoral candidate

Andrew K. Shenton (Whitley Bay, UK)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 28 October 2014




The paper aims to explore the approaches that may be used by library and information science (LIS) higher doctoral candidates when preparing their submissions, especially in terms of highlighting the quality of their publications and the impact they have made.


The methods discussed are those that were considered – and often actually used – by the author when assembling his own submission. Frequent references are made in the paper to pertinent literature on research and to British universities’ regulations on higher doctorates.


The author warns against the tendency of applicants to concentrate too heavily on citation data. Although such statistics are undoubtedly important, a more convincing case for being awarded a higher doctorate may be made by drawing on a variety of sources of evidence, by no means all of which will be quantitative.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on the experiences of one individual, i.e. the author, and consequently the perspective is narrower than would have been the case had it been written by a team of academics, all of whom had prepared their own higher doctoral applications, with each bringing their own unique experience to bear.

Practical implications

The article is wholly practical in its focus; it covers a range of issues and offers realistic guidelines that should be considered by applicants.


Published advice for the higher doctoral candidate is currently extremely limited. It would appear that no significant books or journal articles offer any support to scholars seeking the qualification. This paper has been written to help plug that gap.



K. Shenton, A. (2014), "Demonstrating personal stature: some strategies for the LIS higher doctoral candidate", Library Review, Vol. 63 No. 8/9, pp. 590-605.



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