End of project conference

The Dynamics of Knowledge Creation: Academics’ writing practices in the contemporary university workplace.

Friday 13th January 2017, 10.00am-4.30pm

Venue: SRHE, 73 Collier Street, London N1 9BE [map]

How do contemporary social changes shape the everyday writing practices of academics? The Lancaster University based research team from ‘The Dynamics of Knowledge Creation’ project have spent the past two years working closely with academics from a range of disciplines and universities to address this question. We have examined how, what and when people write. We have studied the contexts they are working in, including working spaces, the tools and resources they draw on, and the managerial regimes within which they are working. We have tracked the many different kinds of writing academics engage in, related to their diverse roles as researchers, teachers, administrators and public figures.

The project has found that academics’ writing practices are indeed changing, affected by a range of developments in higher education. These include the increasing management of research writing associated with research evaluation frameworks; changes in teaching driven by the increasingly marketised nature of higher education; and pressures associated with the shift to digital communication, including ubiquitous devices which potentially open up every domain of life to academic writing. More positive changes have also been identified, including new patterns of research collaboration and new possibilities in the types of writing people can engage with. Academics told us about the range of strategies they adopt in different institutions, disciplines, and career stages as they respond to this context in their writing practices.

At this day conference, we will share methods and findings from the project and invite the audience to reflect on how these findings relate to their own contexts. We will suggest ways that this concrete understanding of academics’ practices can inform institutional policies, for instance in designing workspaces, models of time allocation, and structured support which respond appropriately to academics’ writing needs.

This event will be of particular interest to scholars of literacy studies and higher education; people involved in professional development, training of early career researchers and doctoral students, research management, those responsible for academics’ work spaces, and anyone with an interest in academic writing.

Numbers are limited, so if you would like to attend, please email Dee Daglish by 15th December 2016. We look forward to seeing you at the conference. The fee to attend will be £25 for the day, including lunch and refreshments.


The project team:

David Barton, Ibrar Bhatt, Mary Hamilton, Sharon McCulloch, Karin Tusting (PI)