An Exploration of the Experiences of Japan-Based English Language Teachers Writing for Academic Publication

Muller, Theron (2018). An Exploration of the Experiences of Japan-Based English Language Teachers Writing for Academic Publication. PhD thesis The Open University.



This thesis examines knowledge production practices within higher education by exploring the experiences of Japan-based language teachers writing for academic publication. Global practices of knowledge production as encoded in high-prestige published academic texts are of ongoing research interest. However, the exploration of author practices of writing for academic publication is a relatively new area of interest which I pursue in this thesis. The investigation of the writing for academic publication practices of Japan-based language teachers presented here helps to further expand the empirical research base and facilitates critical examination of the processes underlying writing for academic publication more broadly.

This thesis is primarily based on research into the writing for publication practices of seven Japan-based authors, exploring why they write for academic publication and the practices that underlie their writing. The study employs an ethnographically informed methodology, incorporating multiple sources of data, including interviews, different versions of manuscripts submitted for publication, and the correspondence surrounding those manuscripts. These multiple sources facilitate exploring the complex processes behind writing for academic publication.

Methodological tools from academic literacies and critical discourse analysis are applied to examine the authors’ writing for academic publication practices and the processes their manuscripts go through during submission, review, and revision along their trajectories toward publication. This thesis illustrates the hidden complexities underlying academic knowledge production and examines the processes that shape what can be and is published.

Key findings include the heterogeneity of writing for publication practices among the authors, the complexity of the trajectories of published manuscripts, and how the ideologies expressed in the authors’ published manuscripts have been shaped by the review and revision process. A key contribution of the thesis is the methodology developed to investigate writing for academic publication practices, specifically regarding analysis of text publication trajectories.

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