Toward scholarliness in doctoral dissertations: An analytical model

Authors

  • Dr. Afaf Ibrahim Meleis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Professor of mental health and community nursing, University of California, San Francisco, California
    • Department of Mental Health and Community Nursing, School of Nursing, N505-y, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143.
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  • Dr. Holly Skodol Wilson,

    1. Associate dean of academic planning and an associate professor of mental health and community nursing, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, California.
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  • Dr. Shirley Chater

    1. Vice chancellor of academic affairs and a professor of nursing, department of social and behavioral sciences, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, California.
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Abstract

The dissertation is one of the most important vehicles for providing the novice researcher with the necessary socialization for a future of productive and scholarly research activities. Research productivity and the scholarliness of research are needed in developing nursing science. In this article, the processes that have the potential to enhance the quality of the doctoral dissertation are addressed; the psychological, social, and structural processes involved in completing a quality dissertation are delineated and discussed; and a model for the development of scholarliness and scholarship in doctoral programs is presented. The authors address three major areas for consideration: (a) the dependence of scholarship and scholarliness on researchable questions that are important, evolve in the context of theoretical considerations, and improve the scientific base of nursing knowledge; (b) the development of these qualities as enhanced by the resolution of several dilemmas that revolve around decisions made throughout the dissertation process; and (c) the recommendation that these qualities (scholarship and scholarliness) be fostered meticulously during doctoral education in nursing and, preferably, earlier.

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