How do some scholars publish successfully while others perish from professional pressure? Literature has demonstrated the challenges of professional advancement through scholarship, yet has yet to explore how scholars manage these challenges successfully. The problem to be addressed in this grounded study was the lack of knowledge regarding the nature of success in peer-reviewed publication for midcareer scholars. Midcareer was defined as (a) employed professors with 5-15 years of doctoral level teaching experience, (b) having mentored at least one doctoral student to completion, and (c) successfully published in a peer-reviewed journal within the last academic year. A purposive sample of 16 midcareer scholars participated in one, 60-90 minute semi-structured interviews. 278 pages of transcript were coded open, axial and selective sequence using constant comparison. Analysis revealed that midcareer scholars who self-identify as lifelong learners with an intrinsic sense of responsibility to advancing scholarship engaged in problem solving strategies that facilitated successful peer-reviewed publication.


Peer-Review Publication, Midcareer Faculty, Scholarly Advancement, Grounded Theory, Publish or Perish

Author Bio(s)

Walker Karraa, PhD is a Senior Research Fellow at The Center for Leadership Studies and Educational Research, School of Advanced Studies, at the University of Phoenix, where she is on faculty as a Dissertation Research Chair and teaches qualitative research methods in the doctoral program. She is the Media Review Editor for The Journal of Leadership Studies, and serves as the Media Director for The International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health. She serves as perinatal mental health advisor to the President's Advisory Council of DONA International. Her most recent research has been published in her book: Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women's Stories of Trauma and Growth (2013, Praeclarus Press).

Mark McCaslin, PhD, is the Senior University Research Chair for the Center for Leadership Studies and Educational Research, University of Phoenix. Dr. McCaslin has a rich history of teaching, educational programming and administration. His personal and professional interests flow around the development of philosophies, principles and practices dedicated to the full actualization of human potential. The focus of his research has centered upon organizational leadership and educational approaches that foster a more holistic approach in the actualization of that potential. Dr. McCaslin is the Senior Editor of the Integral Leadership Review. Dr. McCaslin has taught quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method approaches to research. He has published several articles on research techniques and approaches and manifold articles on leadership and human potential. As a dissertation chair and methodologist he has led over 70 completed dissertations spanning 22 disciplines and covering 14 different research designs.

Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Walker Karraa at, 4422 Stern Ave. Sherman Oaks, CA 91423; E-mail: walkerkarraa@email.phoenix.edu.

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