Introduction. A small scale exploratory project was conducted in the faculties of social sciences at Vilnius University to explore information sharing between supervisors and doctoral students.
Methods. Semi structured interviews were carried out with five pairs of supervisors and teachers to find out how they perceive the roles of each other in supervision process, which the areas of information sharing are and how they perceive the benefits of this information sharing.
Analysis. The content analysis method was used to extract the qualitative categories from the interview data.
Results. The supervisors perceive their role as a guide to information, research methods and research networks. The doctoral students confirm these roles of their supervisors, but lack opportunities for equal argument, just as the supervisors do. According to the supervisors, the doctoral students perform the roles of information receivers, producers and sharers of research results and also as ‘pits’ of information. The students do not perceive themselves as either the sharers of useful information with their supervisors, or ‘pits’ of information, but confirm the roles of information receivers and sharers of research results.
Conclusions. The results have shown that the supervisors benefit from information sharing with doctoral students when they see interesting research data and results and discuss future research ideas. The students derive a wider range of benefits from information exchange with the supervisors from direct instructions on searching for articles to inclusion in research networks.
Keywords. Information sharing, academic environment, doctoral students, supervisors
Paper is published in Information Research 21(4): Information sharing between doctoral students and supervisors: fixed roles and flexible attitudes