Doing doctoral studies: selected literature

The post was last updated on August 11, 2021

We all probably know the feeling of downloading interesting-sounding articles onto our computers, thinking we’ll read them “at some point”. And then we’ll never look at them again. However, sometimes those papers come to form the core background literature for our doctoral (or later) research. But once the thesis is done, what do you do with all those neatly sorted and zotero’ed papers?

Why not share them?

Below there is a list of references related to various themes of “doing doctoral studies”. All of them are somehow focused on doctoral researchers (individual-level) rather than doctoral education as a system. The list is in no way exhaustive: to keep it somehow manageable, the list only includes journal articles, written in English. Most of the articles have been published between 2010 and 2021, but there are also a few older ones in the mix.

The list will hopefully be helpful for those thinking of doing research on any aspect of doctoral studies—or for those who want to focus on a more holistic viewpoint, like I did in my own thesis.

The list will be updated twice a year.


Melina Aarnikoivu is a postdoctoral researcher in the Higher Education Studies (HIEST) team at the Finnish Institute for Educational Research. In her doctoral dissertation, titled “The best drunk decision of my life”. A nexus analysis of doctoral education, she studied doctoral education as a form of social action. Since then, she has been particularly interested in early-career researchers’ academic writing practices and academic wellbeing.


Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

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