Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Shelley Taylor


Given global competitiveness for quality research articulated through scholarly publication, minimal research addresses the practices of Anglophone doctoral students in writing for scholarly publication. This study examines (1) the challenges faced by Canadian Anglophone doctoral students in writing for scholarly publication in international English-medium academic journals; and (2) the ways in which these novice scholars are supported by faculty supervisors and expert members of their academic community in communicating their work through scholarly publication.

The theoretical framework for this study draws on the social constructivist notions of Discourse Community (Swales, 1990) and Legitimate Peripheral Participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991). A qualitative case study approach frames the study methodologically. A questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis constitute the data collection methods. The participants include Anglophone doctoral students, faculty supervisors, and editors of academic journals.

The findings indicate that although Anglophone doctoral students enjoy Native-English-Speaker status and presumably a linguistic advantage, they too face genre-specific, discipline-specific, and non-discursive challenges in the initiation phase of joining their target discourse community through writing for scholarly publication. They also struggle with the publication process. Moreover, the struggles they face in writing for scholarly publication are similar to their non-Anglophone peers. Furthermore, the findings also highlight a “sink or swim” model for acquiring academic literacy skills in Canadian Higher Education context. The findings highlight that academia needs to be more accountable for emerging scholars’ legitimate peripheral participation and visibility in global scholarship.