Pursuing PhD by publication in geography: a collaborative autoethnography of two African doctoral researchers

Lewis Abedi Asante*, Zaid Abubakari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
191 Downloads (Pure)


Several scholars have, over the years, written about their experiences of the pathway of PhD by publication (PBP). However, little is known about why African doctoral students pursue PBP and their experiences . In this article, we adopt collaborative autoethnography to document our experiences and motivation for choosing the PBP pathway. Based on our experiences, the choice of PBP is primarily influenced by the candidate's previous research experience and the requirements/practices of the university. The common motivation among African doctoral students is the quest to acquire the requisite research skills and training in journal article publishing and the determination to catch-up in the knowledge economy through the production of high-quality scientific publication. Everyday experiences of PBP are shaped by university expectations, scholarly writing skills, institutional, supervisory and external support systems, research training and resilience. This study concludes by highlighting the positive implications of PBP for educational and socio-economic development in Africa and the world, more generally. It is recommended that journals develop scholar development programs to enable their editors to provide individualized support to PhD students, especially those pursuing PBP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-107
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Geography in Higher Education
Issue number1
Early online date10 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2021




Dive into the research topics of 'Pursuing PhD by publication in geography: a collaborative autoethnography of two African doctoral researchers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this