Doctoral examiners: choosing them wisely

Nice explanation… Reference from other perspective…

DoctoralWriting SIG

By Susan Carter

Examiners play a huge role in doctoral success; they need to be chosen wisely. Supervisors can overlook this when busy, and live to regret it, along with their hapless student. The choice requires thought about the examiners–including their attitudes to writing–and about the student and their choices. What must be considered?

Obviously, there is level of expertise, and availability. I recommend that you think about other factors too. Examiners are humans from planet earth: subjective even when they are professionals aiming to be fair. Avoid someone whose work the student disproves or disapproves of. Avoid someone who uses a conflicting paradigm.

And sometimes academics find it hard to suspend their own preferences and predilections. Margaret Kiley (2009) points out that “most experienced supervisors ensure that they know, or at the very least know of, the personality traits of potential examiners.”

In some cases, a crucial factor in…

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