Research on higher education research: a bibliography

What is higher education research? Is it a (scattered) field, a discipline, a tribe, a territory, a (a‐theoretical) community of practice, a cluster of silos, or an archipelago whose watery divides need bridging?

Each of the listed conceptualizations and metaphors has been invoked at least once by scholars who have grappled with this question, as it can be seen from the literature listed below. A closer look at these works reveals a variety of angles and takes, some criticism, occasional disagreements, lots of reflection, and at least one idea most seem to agree on: higher education research is, for better or for worse, not short of divisions.

This post does not, however, aim to engage in the discussion about the characteristics of higher education research (which doesn’t mean it cannot be a discussion starter). The aim here in fact is far less ambitious and limited to sharing a list of works which analyze, discuss, and reflect on higher education research.

The works included in the bibliography focus on a variety of aspects, and these include, among others, relationship with disciplines, policy, theory, or method, conceptual discussions, focus on specific parts of the world or on specific journals, citation analyses, writing style, and so forth. The list is likely not exhaustive, yet by continuously updating it, it surely will be increasingly more comprehensive over time.


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