Academics' ways of understanding success in research activities


Bowden, John A.; Green, Pam; Barnacle, Robyn; Cherry, Nita; Usher, Robin

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The purposes of this ‘researching the researchers’ project were to examine the range of ways that RMIT researchers saw their research activities and to feed the results back into training activities for researchers and research supervisors. The particular aspect of the project reported here is the analysis of what the recipients saw as success in research. What constituted a successful research project? (In each interview the question was framed as follows: ‘Firstly, I would ask you to tell me about some research that you have been engaged in that you view as being successful in some way’. Interviewees were also asked by the interviewer ‘to tell me about some research that you have been engaged in that you view as being unsuccessful in some way’.) In earlier chapters, the personal stories of members of the research team described various aspects of the research process. The chapter on phenomenographic research methodology by Gerlese Åkerlind has provided a critical and comprehensive analysis of the method used in this study. In this chapter we will provide a brief summary of the research processes and then a detailed description of the research outcomes.

Publication year


Publication type

Book chapter


Doing developmental phenomenography / John A. Bowden and Pam Green (eds.), Chapter 9, pp. 128-144


RMIT University




Copyright © 2005 The authors.