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HERDSA Journal

Higher Education Research and Development (HERD)
Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) was established in 1982 as HERDSA’s learned journal. The journal publishes six issues a year, including Special Issues on a variety of themes. It is a leading journal in the field of higher education. In 2010, HERD was recognised as an A-ranked journal in the Australian Research Council Journal Rankings. Citations of HERD articles are indexed by the ISI social science citation index. 2012 impact factor: 0.648; rank 107/216 (Education & Educational Research).  HERD is published by Taylor & Francis.

HERD contributes to HERDSA’s purpose of continuously improving higher education by informing and challenging researchers, teachers, administrators and others concerned with the past, present and future of higher education. The journal publishes scholarly articles that make a significant and original contribution to the theory, practice or research of higher education. We welcome empirical, theoretical, philosophical and historical articles and essays that address higher education in any of its dimensions.

All articles propose fresh critical insights into the area being addressed and are appropriately framed for an international audience. They have also undergone rigorous, double-blind peer review by at least two internationally recognised peers.

In addition to peer-reviewed articles, HERD publishes book reviews and a Points for Debate column.

Book Reviews Editor: Dr Frances Kelly, School of Critical Studies in Education, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.  f.kelly@auckand.ac.nz

Points for Debate Editor: Dr Tai Peseta, welcomes suggestions for short (1200 word) provocative reflections and commentaries. tai.peseta@sydney.edu.au 

Editorial Team
The Editorial Team is led by Executive Editor Dr Barbara Grant, The University of Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand, bm.grant@auckland.ac.nz

Click here for a full listing of the Editorial Team, Associate Editors and Editorial Advisory Board.

Submission of manuscripts
All submissions should be made online at the Higher Education Research & Development ScholarOne site.

Submitted manuscripts of no more than 7000 words should not have been published elsewhere (though they may be based on a prior conference presentation or the like) and should not be under consideration concurrently by another journal.

Criteria for review are included in the Instructions for Authors.

Book reviews: send directly to Fran Kelly at f.kelly@auckland.ac.nz

Points for Debate:  send directly to Tai Peseta at tai.peseta@sydney.edu.au

Special Issue 2015 - Queering the Academy: New directions in LGBT research in higher education
The 2015 special issue of HERD recognizes that mainstream LGBT research continues to offer important insights for HE practice, particularly in conservative institutions where sexual diversity politics remain marginalized.  This issue seeks papers attempting innovative theoretical and methodological approaches, which might cast new light on existing questions and problems around sexual and gender diversity in HE.   

Further information is available at http://explore.tandfonline.com/cfp/ed/call-for-papers/queering-the-academy

 Submissions are due by 31 August 2014.

Latest Issue
Click here for the table of contents of the latest issue of the Journal.
(Please note: your level of access will depend on where you access the site from. If your institution maintains a full subscription to the electronic journal, full access will be available through your institutional website).

Tai’s Pick
Points for Debate Editor (Tai Peseta) provides her pick of an article she thinks of special interest in each issue.

Volume 33, Number 1 Special Issue – Leading the Academy: defining the future of leadership in higher education
Leadership remains a hot topic in higher education. While many of us can be found regularly lamenting the lack of leadership, or speculating on leadership’s revolving door, it is difficult to fully appreciate just how massive and complex the task of leading a university, faculty, department, research agenda, or the student experience actually is. This Special Issue (edited by Prof Bruce Macfarlane) represents one attempt to showcase the scale, complexity and experiences of leadership efforts and practices in the academy. One of the pieces that caught my eye was Naidoo and colleagues’ article Leadership and branding in business schools: a Bourdieusian analysis. It positions the contemporary fixation with university ‘branding’ as a likely consequence of a global, competitive and managerialist higher education sector that works to re-imagine academics, students, and professional staff primarily as brand agents. The authors offer two Business School case studies as sites of re-branding, and especially striking is the ambivalence of academics as distinct from the enthusiasm of professional staff. This is a fascinating article and well worth the read. Read the article here.

Volume 32, Number 6
Karen Handley, Birgit den Outer & Margaret Price – scholars from the Business School at Oxford Brookes University – make a persuasive argument that supporting sessional staff to develop informed and wise judgments about assessment standards and practices, is essential work. Their article Learning to mark: exemplars, dialogue and participation in assessment communities reminds us that we have for too long, neglected to properly involve sessional staff in conversation about judgments related to student achievement. The interviews in this study offer a predictable portrait of the variation in these sessional staff experiences with being supported. What comes out is how much these sessional staff value participation and dialogue in their local assessment communities. What’s especially interesting is the utility of exemplars for structuring conversations that develop judgment. Clearly, much more needs doing in this space. Read the article here.

Volume 32, Number 5
Anyone interested in tackling the problem of knowledge transfer from universities to industry head-on will profit from Denise Jackson’s piece Business graduate employability – where are we going wrong? In attempting to move past the tricky political question about who is responsible for developing business students’ non-technical skills (graduate attributes), the paper analyses the multiple factors that influence the way students re-contextualise their knowledge, skills and attitudes between and within different contexts. One outcome from Jackson’s piece is a sense that we ought to study the phenomenon empirically. A second outcome is a model of graduate transfer based on shared responsibility between graduates, employers and universities. It might seem a fairly obvious solution but it is good to be reminded that the problem isn’t altogether a straightforward one. Read the article here.  

Volume 32, Number 4
It still remains reasonably rare for higher education scholarship to engage with the critical history of an ‘idea’ although it might now be said that Janette Myer’s article focused on the idea of ‘student support’ is a welcome exception to that rule. Her piece Why support students? Using the past to understand the present takes an unashamedly historical approach, inviting readers to think again about the specific socio-political conditions that have given contemporary versions of student support its unique character. While her context is the UK, the article canvasses four possible reasons for why student support might look the way it does: institutional gain, students living away from home, danger and safety, and higher education as a difficult experience. In undertaking an historical analysis, one of the lessons in Myer’s piece is not about the kinds of students now entering higher education; rather it is more about the imagined audience for support and the educational purpose of higher education. Read the article here

Volume 32, Number 3
Interdisciplinarity is one of those terms that appeals to the teacher, researcher and scholar in all of us. For Mackinnon, Hine & Barnard, it is an idea full of promise – helping to remedy what they suggest is a growing problem in university science education: ‘that the nexus between the teaching and learning process in science and the research process in science has been broken” (p.408). Their article Interdisciplinary science research and education in the latest issue of HERD argues that interdisciplinarity offers one route to restoring that link. It showcases three vignettes of well-known scientists engaged in routine interdisciplinary practices in their everyday work. The authors raise interesting questions about the kinds of undergraduate curricula that enable students to do the same. One compelling answer explored in the paper is to encourage students to engage in authentic research problems and interdisciplinary scientific inquiry early on in their university education. Read the article here.

Volume 32, Number 2
Leadership in/of/for higher education has been a sizzling issue in higher education for some time. While those of us on the ground can sometimes appear too practically obsessed with the figure of the charismatic leader (their charms, achievements and failings), it is clear that no single person can carry off the scale of change which is now being demanded of the contemporary university. In this issue, the piece Unpacking the narrative of non-positional leadership in academia: Hero and/or victim? (Adisorn Juntrasook, Karen Nairn, Carol Bond and Rachel Spronken-Smith) reminds us that academics are usually (no matter the nature of their appointment), leading something – people, ideas, processes and conversations – and that little is known about narratives of small ‘l’ leadership. The paper presents a forensic analysis of a single case – a fixed term researcher – and his foray into being leaderly, performing leadership, and his understanding of himself as a leader. To my mind, the strength of the piece is its methodological contribution, that is, how it puts ‘narrative analysis’ to use. There is no claim to generalisation; rather an appeal that leadership studies in academia (continue to) draw on a spectrum of analytical lenses that offer a sophisticated (and real) view of the challenges associated with leading in the higher education.

Click here to Read more about the article here.

Volume 32, Number 1 - Special Issue – The role of disciplines: alternative methodologies in higher education
Special Issue devoted specifically to the arts’ and humanities’ ways of researching higher education (read ‘alternative’) tells us a lot about the formation of higher education research field, the backgrounds of those researchers who gave it visibility, what gets read as research in higher education contexts, the problems and questions which inhabit the field, together with the unspoken rules about how we might respond. The focus on arts and humanities is a breath of fresh air and a welcome disruption. The papers across the issue reference (among others) novels, fiction, narrative, autobiography, stories, and literary analysis – each presented as opportunities to offer new insights on the issues occupying higher education research and practice. The piece I was most captured by on this occasion was Bronwyn James’s Researching student becoming in higher education. The focus of her paper is on becoming a postgraduate student writer, and in particular, taking the palimpsest-like artefacts and experiences of students’ writing as themselves, moments of formation and becoming. By necessity, James’s article is theoretically eclectic, rich, although to my mind, is never dense. The notion of ‘excess’ (“those moments when a student makes a decision about what to write onto the page, what to erase, or manage through some of linguistic engineering”…p.110) clearly has much pedagogical potential. The paper showcases what research of this kind might look like, using Anna’s writing and interviews with her as a case in point. James’s piece strikes that kind of cord reminding you to show care, exercise patience and be a little tender with students’ sometimes very long struggle, to develop as academic writers. Read more about the article here.  

Tai’s picks for Volume 30 and 31 are available in the archive.

Obtaining the journal
1. Individuals receive HERD as a benefit of HERDSA membership.
2. Institutions and libraries wishing to purchase HERD can do so by subscribing direct through the publisher Taylor and Francis Journals (ISSN 0729-4360).


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