Shortcomings in Library and Information Sciences (LIS) PhD Projects: Analyses of Examined Theses and Supervised for the Period 2008-2016 at Select Universities in Eastern, Western and Southern Africa
Keywords:doctoral studies, library science research, PhD thesis, postgraduate supervision, scholarly publishing
This article presents the experiential perspectives of the authors on the shortcomings in LIS PhD theses submitted for examination or supervised in 15 purposively selected universities in Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Ghana, and South Africa. In all, 36 theses were examined and/ or supervised for the period 2008â€“2016. The shortcomings discussed here were isolated in the conception of the research topic, introduction (background to the study), review of literature, selection and use of theory, presentation and discussion of the results, as well as in the technical presentation of the theses. The authors conclude that the shortcomings identified in the LIS PhD projects may be attributed to a number of factors including, but not limited to inadequate preparedness on the parts of supervisors and the candidates, and limited support given to PhD candidates. The authors recommend rethinking the mode of offering the LIS PhD programmes from being exclusively research-oriented to a hybrid model of course work and research. The issues raised in this article have implications for PhD supervision capacity building, postgraduate support and mentorship.
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