Doctor of Philosophy

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Sheffield Indymedia - 2010-03-27 Ideas Around Hacking - How Does Openness Work 1
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Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as PhD is an academic degree traditionally awarded by universities.

This is a project space, to network, peer assist and peer assess people through Open and Networked PhDs (ONPhD).

Work to date has made it as far as articulating an equivalence to the formal PhD stage called Candidature. Other stages to the ONPhD are yet to be developed.


A traditional PhD requires acceptance from a University to become a PhD Candidate, and a process of that candidate publishing a thesis that meets the criteria of that university. See a relevant University's website for their requirements.

An ONPhD does not require affiliation to a university, but does require the publication of a thesis, that is assessed by peers to criteria. To date an ONPhD is not recognised as a PhD, but we do hope to establish a process where it can be shown to be equivalent to, if not an improvement on, the traditional PhD criteria and assessment.

As in a traditional PhD, an ONPhD will require:

  1. Candidature
  2. Literature review
  3. A question
  4. Coursework and learning
  5. Research
  6. Publication and review


Work has begun devising a simple course around developing a successful candidature for ONPhD, including the use of digital badges. See the course on P2PU, and the manual for earning the badge

  1. Describe your learning history - This is a cumulative description of all the works (formal and informal) you have completed to be considered toward your candidacy for an ONPhD
  2. Identify your domain of study - The described domain of study should be both broad and focused. This is to allow others to get a sense of both the knowledge domain and your focus.
  3. Detail your contribution - What of considerable significance are you going to contribute to your chosen subject domain of knowledge?
  4. Methodology - Completion of a PhD requires a significant reseach project or major contribution to your chosen knowledge domain.
  5. Skills and Knowledge Development - Completion of a PhD level of knowing also requires the development of other related skills and knowledge.
  6. Engage the community - How are you going to engage the learning community and your learning network
  7. Seek supervision and endorsements - Identify the people in your learning network who are going to assist on your learning journey and help you get to finished.

Literature review[edit]


Ben Rattray explains how he uses Google Scholar in his research. Copy on Youtube. Copy on Archive.
  1. * Demonstrate thorough knowledge of a wide range of literature relating to your topic.
  2. * Engage in critical appraisal of these works.
  3. * Arrive at a question or "gap" in the literature, that you will structure your thesis around.
  4. * Understand where your investigation sits in relation to the literature you have reviewed.
  5. * Begin to position your thesis in terms of world view (philosophical framework), the types of methods you will use to investigate and test your ideas (methodical framework), and the way you will operate those methods (operational framework – including the definition of what is data and how it is appraised/analysed).

A question[edit]


Coursework and learning[edit]

INCOMPLETE Course work for an OpenPhd occurs in two areas. The courses described in Universal are those shared by everyone doing an OpenPhD. The courses in Specific are a list of courses that each person doing an OpenPhD decides for themselves. This course list should be very comprehensive and include a review of the courses from PhD programs similar to the one being done in the open.

  1. a course in advanced research, data collection, ethics... for example Sport research
  2. a course in open publishing and social media... for example, some adaption to Open educational resources or Social media
  3. It is possible that Sport research could be made more generic
  4. This is where it gets fun. Source out a handful of PhD programs similar to the PhD you are completing in the open and build a course list. The list should include some courses you create, complete and teach yourself. A good example of this can be found here


INCOMPLETE All research is pivotal on methods – which requires sound alignment between:

World view

(philosophical framework)

Methodical approach

(methodical framework)


(operational framework – including the definition of what is data and how it is appraised/analysed).


Publication and review[edit]


Communications and support[edit]

To stay in contact with others who are openly documenting and networking their PhD work, please consider the following:

  • The email forum on GoogleGroups: Open and networked PhDs
  • Twitter list (I'm a bit unsure on twitterlists, I've created one under my username space.. is there a way to create one in its own name space that anyone can join? And it might be better to call it onphd for open and networked doctor of philosophy) Leighblackall 23:26, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
  • tag == onphd and/or nophd. Use these in delicious, youtube, blog posts, etc, and we can each subscribe to the RSS feeds for that tag and track each other's work at a distance.
  • The participant's list here on Wikiversity:PhD

Obtaining OnPhD Candidacy[edit]

One of the first steps toward an Open and Networked PhD is to have a recognized candidacy. There is currently a challenge on P2Pu that once completed should provide all the work required to be awarded the coveted OnPhD Candidacy.

Assessment Criteria for ONPhD[edit]

INCOMPLETE The following criteria is under development ...

  1. Original research
  2. Thesis is situated within a linage of philosophy, theory and/or research
  3. Data openly accessible online
  4. Thesis is developed and published iteratively (by publication)
  5. Continuous or iterative peer to peer review that is openly documented
  6. Manuscript is freely accessible online

A Badge System for the OnPhD[edit]

The Mozilla open badge metadata specification has two attributes for determining the awarding of a badge;

  1. Criteria - this is the criteria to be fulfilled to earn a badge. For the OnPhD the criteria should be written by the candidate, though it should follow the guidelines defining the OnPhD. this is where we need to collaborate; What is the criteria for completing an OnPhD? Some big honking rubric?
  2. Evidence - this is the collection of artifacts the OnPhD candidate is offering as evidence in completing the badges criteria.

Associated badge system and badge graphic.

Examples of PhDs and candidates using Wikiversity[edit]

See also[edit]

Similar / related projects[edit]