Why do doctoral students blog?

Doctoral researchers are often urged to blog. Some do and some don’t. While individual doctoral bloggers talk about blogging as a practice, there is very little research on doctoral student blogging.


When we did our small preliminary study of why academics blog, we found many interesting student blogs, but we had to leave them out of that project. After doing some preliminary analysis of these have lots of questions:


  • Why do doctoral students start blogging?
  • What do they blog about?
  • What do they get out of blogging?
  • Why do they sometimes stop blogging?


Inger from The Thesis Whisperer and Pat from Patter blog aim to find out the answers to these questions – with your help.


We’ve designed a small online survey which, we hope, doctoral student bloggers might fill in. We are looking for doctoral researchers who blog regularly or occasionally, on their own blog.


The survey is also open to people who blogged during their doctorate and who may now be finished. We are very interested in people who started a blog, but didn’t keep going with it.


The survey could take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how much information you want to give us.


We will report the results of the survey on our blogs and will also keep you in touch with the paper that we intend to write as a result.


If you know a person who might want to fill in this survey, please feel free to pass this link along.


Thank you!


9 thoughts on “Why do doctoral students blog?

  1. Brandon Greenberg says:

    Hi Inger,

    Thanks for doing this. I just completed the survey. Blogging also has some professional benefits as well. I write a blog related to my industry to build credibility and expertise with my future employers and clients. While not every post is related to my work, I think it is worth it in the end and helps you make more clear arguments. Look forward to the results of the survey!

  2. fotuosamoa says:

    I know one doctoral student who blogs for one reason: To avoid dealing with a challenging aspect of their thesis. So blogging becomes an escape or a ‘breather’ that I turn to. Oops, I mean, that other students turn to. *procrastination101*

  3. Maree says:

    Funny how I stumble across this! I am a doctoral student studying blogs (in a marketing/advertising sense) and I took up daily (photo) blogging as a wee bit of a challenge to make my studies more interesting and practical. It also is a way for me to focus on the positive things each day, especially when my readings aren’t going the way I hoped. Shall go and do the survey now!

  4. Sweet Tea, Science says:

    Rachel and I (Meridith) joined forces for PhD student blogging 2 years ago and we love working together to stay involved in STEM communication. We find the more casual writing style to be a welcome relief from the more technical writing of our respective programs (Ecology and Statistics). We also enjoy the feedback and online STEM community we’ve found while blogging (both longform and on Tumblr).

  5. NQ says:

    I meant to write on this a while ago.

    When I started grad school, a false rumour had gone around my department that I had a blog. A professor heard of this, and changed from saying they would definitely hire me to they definitely would not, partly on that basis. This is probably well worth knowing for some people reading this. I’m a scientist. Any other scientists reading: take heed.

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