Academics writing within contradictory systems of value - with speaker Karin Tusting

Room 139, School of Education (Building R19)
Tuesday 8 May 2018 (16:00-18:00)

Dr Elizabeth Chilton


MOSAIC Research Seminar Series Centre for Research on Multilingualism, 2017-18

Academics writing within contradictory systems of value: the Research Excellence Framework as genre regime

With speaker Karin Tusting, Lancaster University


This talk addresses how academics navigate different kinds of prestige and different systems of value around what 'counts' in academic writing.  It draws on data from an ESRC-funded project working with academics across different disciplines and different institutions in England ( We interviewed people about their writing practices several times, exploring their practices, life histories, institutional contexts, and the tools and resources they draw on as they write.

The talk focuses particularly on the effects of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), and how academics experience institutions’ strategic responses to the REF.  I will argue that systems of accountability, driven by institutions’ need to succeed in the national competitive research evaluation system, bring into being ‘genre regimes’ which value a particular subset of types of academic publication and locations for these publications.  The values embedded in such institutional strategies do not always map well onto other values systems in which academics have been trained and within which they locate themselves, particularly the knowledge traditions associated with different disciplines. I will present analyses of the interviews we carried out, exploring how these systems of value play out in different disciplines, looking at how academics from different disciplines negotiate tensions between systems of value, and considering the implications of this for what is considered to be important in academic research writing. 

All are welcome at this free event, however we ask you to please register online if you wish to attend.


Karen TustingKarin Tusting is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics, Lancaster University.  Her research interests include workplace literacy practices, bureaucracy, and accountability literacies.  She was Principal Investigator of the Dynamics of Knowledge Creation project.  The other members of the team which conducted the research presented here were Sharon McCulloch, Ibrar Bhatt, David Barton and Mary Hamilton.

Download the Academics writing within contradictory systems of value: the Research Excellence Framework as genre regime flier (PDF)  

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