Peer-formativity: a framework for academic writing

Rowena Murray, Morag Thow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The system currently deployed to assess research outputs in higher education can influence what, how and for whom academics write; for some it may determine whether or not they write at all. This article offers a framework for negotiating this performative context - the writing meeting. This framework uses the established theoretical underpinning of motivational interviewing, which involves autonomy, self-determination, environmental factors and social support. A study showed that the framework helped academics negotiate performativity and re-connect their writing to their values. In this way, they could both privilege writing that was meaningful to them and meet personal and institutional targets. Writing meetings did this by developing writing-oriented peer relationships, defined in this article as peer-formativity. Using writing meetings, academics can submit for research assessment systems without surrendering to performativity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1166-1179
JournalHigher Education Research & Development
Issue number6
Early online date6 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2014


  • values
  • peer support
  • performativity
  • goals
  • writing


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