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iSchools Doctoral Seminar Examines Wellness Blogging and Predatory Publishing

The European / African Regional Doctoral Seminars Series is a forum for doctoral students to present their research. It grew out of a collaboration between the Berlin and Copenhagen iSchools more than a decade ago, and recently expanded to include any interested iSchool doctoral student worldwide. It is managed by Regional Chair Koraljka Golub of Linnaeus University and Linnaeus doctoral student Romain Herault. The presentations are conducted in English on Zoom.

The most recent installment of the Series took place 20 May, 2022. In the first of two presentations, Ph.D. candidate Alexandra Boutopoulou of the University of Sheffield explained how her study of 4,000 Instagram images reveals that “nothing is what it appears to be” in the world of wellness blogging. Boutopoulou used an analytical method that she calls Comparative Instachronics to trace the evolving career of Deliciously Ella, a well-known food blogger. According to Boutopoulou, Deliciously Ella’s blog was initiated to address personal health issues through so-called “clean-eating”, and Instagram images show its progression through multiple stages into “a pure marketing story”.

A 20-minute video of her presentation is available on the iSchools website.


The second presentation was by Silvia Maccarini, a beginning doctoral student at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, titled Unveiling Predatory Practices in Academic Research. She examined predatory publishers, who exploit the need of academics to be published while offering little in return.

A video of Maccarini’s presentation is also available on the website.

Although the Series started as a European initiative, any iSchool doctoral student worldwide may now take part, either as observer or presenter. If you are interested in presenting your research, contact iSchools Ph.D. Student Representative Romain Herault for information on submitting a proposal.

Upcoming seminars will be posted to the Doctoral Seminar Series webpage and iSchools Events Calendar as they are developed.

Learn more and view all past presentations on the iSchools website.


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