There now exist, in the UK and elsewhere, a large number of peer-reviewed journals concerned with teaching, learning, curriculum and assessment in specific higher education disciplines. Examples include: Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, International Journal for Pharmaceutical Education, and International Journal of Construction Education and Research. This paper presents an analysis of about 20 of these journals, including email interviews with a sample of authors and editors. The analysis is prompted by the tensions inherent in the growing phenomenon of HE lecturers engaging in pedagogic research as a part of their academic practice. On the one hand, the value of pedagogic research derives precisely from the discipline-specific perspectives of the practitioners conducting it. On the other hand, HE lecturers based in ‘the disciplines’, who wish to develop confidence and expertise in the typical ‘ways of knowing’ for pedagogic research, may face a daunting journey. The significance of journals which straddle this borderland lies in their potential to provide a prestigious outlet for research and scholarship sometimes viewed as amateurish and parochial, as well as a forum for communities of subject specialists to discuss and debate educational issues in their disciplines. However the journals may also offer new spaces for developing distinctive ‘ways of knowing’: theoretical framings, epistemological analyses and methodological approaches which display elements of both ‘educational’ and ‘disciplinary’ traditions, with interesting implications for the changing nature of academic practice and academic identities. Questions to be asked as part of this analysis include:
• What kinds of educational issues get written about?
• What kinds of discourses, theoretical frames and methodologies are used?
• How do academics who publish in such journals describe this work in relation to their academic practice and academic identity?
• What light is shed in relation to the tension between research and teaching?