My best writing space: understanding academics self-professed writing spaces

  • Angela R. DobeleEmail author
  • Ekant Veer


Research into academic writing has, in large part, focused on the fundamentals of how to write, and as a result, the understanding that writers require a space in which to concentrate on writing is not new. What is lacking, however, is detailed consideration of what influences writing practice and, specifically, an understanding of how scholarly writers construct their writing taskspaces. This paper explored how academic writers organised their best writing taskspaces. The notion of what constituted best was self-defined by informants. Informants submitted photographs of their best writing spaces, and these were analysed using a two-part methodology. First, the artistic and structural elements of the photographs were considered followed by analysis of the each photograph’s aesthetic qualities to determine the participants’ establishment and maintenance practices. The relationship between academic writers and their best writing spaces was categorised around construction and consumption themes. A typology of academic writers was developed from these findings. A four-part research agenda is proposed. This research extends understanding to include the informant’s role in creating writing spaces which may guide building and design, renovations and reallocation plans for departments and assist individual academics to improve writing productivity and effectiveness. The findings may also assist managers to ensure that employer-provided working habitats are conducive to effective writing.


Academic infrastructure analyses Publishing Qualitative methods Promotion and tenure Higher education 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics, Finance and MarketingRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.College of Business and LawUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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