2 October 2013

Call for Papers
How Doctoral Students
Approach Research

The International Journal of Doctoral Studies (IJDS) is a leading journal for publications on theory, practice, innovation, and research covering all aspects of doctoral studies.

We are CALLING FOR PAPERS for a SPECIAL ISSUE of IJDS that gives pragmatic examples on how doctoral students can approach their research in terms of methodology, methods and theory development.


One of the predicaments for students when commencing their doctoral study is the choice of an appropriate research methodology that will give structure to the research and influence the methods used for data acquisition and analysis. The understanding of the reciprocal actions between methodology, research questions and methods is imperative to the contribution a researcher will make to her or his discipline.

Whether a quantitative or qualitative approach or a combination of the two is preferable, depends on the underlying philosophy of the researcher  (Carter & Little, 2007; Hathaway, 1995; Rabinowitz & Weseen, 1997). Carter & Little, 2007     list six methodologies that are generally applied in qualitative research: grounded theory approach; narrative, life history, testimony and biographical methodologies; ethnographies; participatory research; phenomenological traditions; and case study approaches. Quantitative research can be descriptive, correlational or experimental.

It is these areas of research that students struggle with the most, and it is here we as experienced researchers can make a contribution to ease this burden of choice, understanding and application.

Formalities and benchmark paper

Papers are invited for this call which can shed light on this conundrum of method selection from the view-point of the doctoral (research) student. The paper "Guiding the Use of Grounded Theory in Doctoral Studies -- An Example from the Australian Film Industry" (Jones & Alony, 2011) (see: http://ijds.org/Volume6/IJDSv6p095-114Jones322.pdf) has been selected as a benchmark from which authors are encouraged to emulate the style and approach in the construction of their own paper for submission to IJDS. This paper adopts an unconventional approach to provide a practical guide to the adoption of the method it discusses, and it is this style which should be modelled in potential submissions.

In considering submissions, papers will address questions such as:

  • Why some methods are better than others?
  • What method works best and when?
  • How is the method applied from a practical perspective?
  • How quantitative and qualitative can work best together
  • How the method develops theory?
  • How methods and methodology evolve over the course of research?
         And, more fundamentally:

How does a method work, and how is it applied?

You are invited to submit a paper for possible inclusion in the special issue of the IJDS. The deadline for acceptance of papers is: 30th April, 2014. Selected papers will be published in the 9th volume of the journal (2014). In addition, authors may have the option of including their paper in an edited book which will be published by Pearson.

Format and submission guidelines can be found on our website:



 Carter, S. M., & Little, M. (2007). Justifying knowledge, justifying method, taking action: Epistemologies, methodologies, and methods in qualitative research. Qualitative Health Research, 17(10), 1316-1328. doi: 10.1177/1049732307306927

 Hathaway, R. S. (1995). Assumptions underlying Quantitative and Qualitative Research - Implications for Institutional Research Research in Higher Education, 36(5), 535-562. doi: 10.1007/bf02208830

Jones, M., & Alony, I. (2011). Guiding the Use of Grounded Theory in Doctoral Studies -- An Example from the Australian Film Industry. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 6, 95-114.

Rabinowitz, V. C., & Weseen, S. (1997). Elu(ci)d(at)ing epistemological impasses: Re-viewing the qualitative/quantitative debates in psychology. Journal of Social Issues, 53(4), 605-630. doi: 10.1111/0022-4537.00039