This article presents the first author's experiences as an Australian doctoral student undertaking a PhD by publication in the arena of the social sciences. She published nine articles in refereed journals and a peer-reviewed book chapter during the course of her PhD. We situate this experience in the context of current discussion about doctoral publication practices, in order to inform both postgraduate students and academics in general. The article discusses recent thinking about PhD by publication and identifies the factors that students should consider prior to adopting this approach, in terms of university requirements, supervisors' attitudes, the research subject matter, intellectual property, capacity and working style, and issues of co-authorship. It then outlines our perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of undertaking a PhD by publication. We suggest that, in general, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. We conclude by reflecting on how the first author's experiences relate to current discussions about fostering publications by doctoral students.