Higher Education

, Volume 71, Issue 5, pp 681–697 | Cite as

Research productivity and academics’ conceptions of research

  • Angela BrewEmail author
  • David Boud
  • Sang Un Namgung
  • Lisa Lucas
  • Karin Crawford


This paper asks the question: do people with different levels of research productivity and identification as a researcher think of research differently? It discusses a study that differentiated levels of research productivity among English and Australian academics working in research-intensive environments in three broad discipline areas: science, engineering and technology; social science and humanities; and medicine and health sciences. The paper explores the different conceptions of research held by these academics in terms of their levels of research productivity, their levels of research training, whether they considered themselves an active researcher and a member of a research team, and their disciplinary differences.


Researchers Views of research Research training 



Grateful thanks are due to Peter Petocz for providing helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. The survey design and its Australian implementation were funded by a grant from The University of Sydney.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Brew
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • David Boud
    • 3
    • 4
    • 8
  • Sang Un Namgung
    • 5
  • Lisa Lucas
    • 6
  • Karin Crawford
    • 7
  1. 1.Learning and Teaching CentreMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.The University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital LearningDeakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Faculty of Arts and Social ScienceUniversity of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia
  5. 5.Institute of Jeonbuk Education PolicyChonjuSouth Korea
  6. 6.Graduate School of EducationThe University of BristolBristolUK
  7. 7.Educational Development and Enhancement UnitThe University of LincolnLincolnUK
  8. 8.Institute for Work-Based LearningMiddlesex UniversityLondonUK

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