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Considerations for appointing an external examiner of a PhD in the biomedical sciences in Sweden: a questionnaire-based survey
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences.
2014 (English)In: Scientometrics, ISSN 0890-3670, E-ISSN 1588-2861, Vol. 98, no 3, 2039-2049 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A survey of 170 Swedish mentors of PhD-students found that expertise in the research field and avoidance of conflict of interest were big motivators for finding an examiner from abroad for PhD theses. The survey also identified that concern by supervisors for facilitating the career paths of younger scientists in terms of introductions to potential labs for post-doctoral work and obtaining high quality neutral review of one’s research was also important, as was the desire to set up collaborations. An expectation from the management of one’s university of the PR-value of a foreign senior person as examiner also played a part. Although few were willing to admit that PR for one’s own group was a motivating factor. A small fraction of responders expressed concern that, as some of the costs of the PhD-examination were being shifted on to the research groups themselves, this might impact the current situation. Language also played a subordinate role. To get the best out of the visiting examiner, it was important to educate and instruct them in their role in a Swedish PhD-examination protocol. Male supervisors had had more PhD-candidates than female, but they also had used more Sweden-based examiners than their female colleagues. We conclude that using a foreign examiner was motivated by factors that are likely to prevail for the foreseeable future. This Swedish practice may also provide a template for a common standard.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2014. Vol. 98, no 3, 2039-2049 p.
Keyword [en]
PhD process, Cross-border collaboration, Academic stringency, Conflict of interest, PR, Gender issues, Questionnaire
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100440DOI: 10.1007/s11192-013-1150-1ISI: 000331559800028OAI: diva2:792216
Available from: 2015-03-03 Created: 2015-03-03 Last updated: 2015-05-09Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Torbjörn K
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