Researcher self-care and caring in the research community

Jones, Craig Henry and Whittle, Rebecca (2021) Researcher self-care and caring in the research community. Area, 53 (2). pp. 381-388. ISSN 0004-0894 (

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This paper seeks to begin a discussion on researcher self-care in response to the state of contemporary academia, which sees increasing issues of academic stress and anxiety, and the growing use of facile metrics. Specifically, we wish to explore the potential a critical engagement with self-care poses for ourselves as academics and the communities of which we are a part – what kinpaisby (2008) refers to as the “communiversity.” Our central argument is that self-care may be regarded as a radical act that can push against the interests of the neoliberal university. We illustrate how researcher self-care can be engaged as a reflexive process that operates to create and inform change within our communities through recognising ourselves as networked actors, rather than self-contained individuals as the neoliberal ideology would have us believe. This paper is intended as an opening towards a much larger discussion regarding academia – of the communities, work environments, and “impacts” we wish to be a part of and how to begin working towards realising these.