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Constructing an Understanding of Professional Academic Writing: The SEPIA Model

Grant, Maria (2022) Constructing an Understanding of Professional Academic Writing: The SEPIA Model. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Professional academic writing is a key part of an academic’s role within higher education institutions (HEIs), though only a subset of academics publishes on a regular basis. This research sought to identify the process or processes that help academics write for publication.

A convergent mixed methods grounded theory methodology was used. Social network analysis of the longitudinal development of co-author personal networks (ego-nets) of four highly published academics informed the staged sampling (purposive, then theoretical) of eight academics employed in HEI nursing departments: Australia; Belgium; Canada; Italy; Singapore; United Kingdom; United States of America. Open-ended interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Constant comparative analysis (CCA) of transcripts, diagramming and story lining, were employed in the construction of a substantive grounded theory.

Ego-net analysis of co-author relationships (number, employer, country, gender) indicated it takes 4-to-7 years from first co-authored publication to achieve the sustained levels of publication desired by HEIs. The SEPIA Model of how academics conceptualise the breadth of professional academic writing was constructed from interview data. Sector: Organisational/Publishing context. Equipping: Generalised pursuits preceding writing. Purpose and Identity: Attributes to maintain a sustained and focused engagement with professional academic writing. Activity: Process of writing.

The SEPIA Model highlighted the disjointed and inconsistent levels of awareness and access to professional academic writing and research development; best characterised as an emphasis in supporting writing Activity, while largely being unaware or ignoring Sector, Equipping, Purpose and Identity. The sustaining influence of an academics’ sense of purpose and professional identity may provide a practical route to enhancing professional academic writing support.

The SEPIA Model provides a framework for holistic and equitable programmes of professional academic writing support, engagement and networking. Medium-term investment may be required before the impact of that investment becomes apparent.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: academics; allied health professionals; constructivist grounded theory; ego-nets; higher education institutions; interviews; nursing; professional academic writing; social network analysis; The SEPIA Model; writing for publication
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
Divisions: Nursing & Allied Health
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2023 15:39
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 00:50
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00017967
Supervisors: Jones, I and Lotto, R
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17967
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