Publishing in Academic Journals

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Lecture by Professor Simon Haslett at the University of Wales Student Research Conference, Cardiff, on Friday 13th May 2011. Simon Haslett is Professor of Physical Geography and Dean of the School of STEM at the University of Wales.

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Publishing in Academic Journals

  1. 1. Publishing in Academic Journals:<br />A Rough Guide<br />Professor Simon Haslett<br />Dean, School of STEM<br />Presentation at the University of Wales<br />Student Research Conference, Cardiff<br />Friday 13thMay 2011<br />
  2. 2. A bit about the facilitator<br />Since 1990 Simon has published:<br />Over 130 academic articles, mostly peer-reviewed journal articles.<br />Over 50 articles in the popular press (newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc).<br />Over 50 conference papers.<br />Seven edited books (three as sole editor).<br />Two sole authored books.<br />Served as editor on four academic peer-reviewed journals and professional magazines (e.g. for learned society).<br />
  3. 3. Submitting for Publication<br />The academic writing process.<br />Making your name known.<br />Who is your audience?<br />Types of publications?<br />Choosing a journal to submit to.<br />Preparing your manuscript.<br />What not to do.<br />Possible outcomes.<br />Dealing with and overcoming rejection.<br />Responding to reviewers comments.<br />Proof stage.<br />Reprints.<br />
  4. 4. The Academic Writing Process<br />Inventing and research<br />Planning<br />Drafting<br />Revising<br />Editing<br />Submission<br />Peer review process<br />Revisions<br />Proof stage and publication<br />(modified from Ganobcsik-Williams, 2009)<br />Draw up a plan and discuss with a colleague – what issues come to mind?<br />
  5. 5. Making your name known<br />Collaborate with your supervisor (or a colleague)<br />Become active in your academic community<br />Present at conferences<br />Journal editors actively look out for good papers<br />Prepare effective conference posters<br />Network: talk to journal editors (who are other academics)<br />Write working papers<br />Practice in writing academic papers<br />Useful feedback<br />Does not count as prior publication if revised<br />Create your own website<br />
  6. 6. Audience<br />Local, national, international?<br />Researchers, practitioners, teachers, general public?<br />Type of Publication<br />Journal article (watch out for special issues)<br />Magazine article<br />Review article<br />Book review – good way of starting<br />Research note (short report or work in progress)<br />Working paper – mainly for conferences<br />Book or chapter in book (often through invitation)<br />
  7. 7. Choosing the Right Journal<br />Research the journals in your field<br />Library and websites<br />Conference stands<br />Talk to peers <br />Familiarise yourself with aims and scope of journals<br />Choose the most suitable journal(s) for your article<br />Good to have a fall back or two<br />Should it be an Open Access journal? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mRFRe4DxdM<br />Type of journal (pro’s and con’s)<br />Multidisciplinary (often for a general subject readership)<br />Niche (need to be hot on specifics)<br />Do you<br />Write an article for a specific journal? (I prefer this from the start)<br />Find a journal for your article? (if I haven’t chosen a journal yet)<br />
  8. 8. Assessing the Best Journal for Your Article<br />What is the readership and usage?<br />Prestige in your field<br />Who is the editor and who are on the editorial board?<br />Who is likely to review your paper – can you suggest reviewers? Is <br />Who publishes in the journal? <br />Is it published by a major publisher or association? <br />Local/national/international?<br />Is it peer reviewed<br />How long will this take?<br />Is it on the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) Citation Database?<br />How often is it cited?<br />Is it available online and in print?<br />
  9. 9. Writing for Your Chosen Journal<br />Check the aims and scope<br />Look at previous papers to get a feel for what is accepted – has it got a history in a topic area?<br />Contact the editor – maybe?<br />What does my research contribute to the field?<br />Make your research relevant to the wider world; you need to be explicit about its widest context.<br />Ask a colleague to read paper prior to submission – maybe? Except where English needs to be checked/improved.<br />
  10. 10. Preparing the Manuscript<br />Read the guidelines carefully – many submit through an online gateway now.<br />Comply with minimum and maximum limits <br />Expand any acronyms<br />Especially if the audience is international or interdisciplinary<br />Write an abstract that conveys the content, results and main conclusions (add keywords)<br />Check spelling and grammar<br />Double spaced and single sided (usually required).<br />
  11. 11. Manuscript Preparation Cont’d.<br />Ensure references cited in text appear in bibliography – and vice versa<br />Not too many self-references if reviewed anonymously (add them after review)<br />Figures, tables and photographs<br />Check they are ALL present<br />Resolution and file type is important e.g. TIFFs<br />Observe conventions e.g. maps should have scale bars and north arrow<br />Place in a separate file<br />Make sure they are all numbered and referred to<br />Consider/suggest how they will appear in the journal<br />Ensure you have the correct copyright clearance<br />Some journals now accept audio and video clips<br />
  12. 12. What not to do<br />Don’t try to boil down your whole PhD/Masters thesis into one article<br />Don’t put the article on your website first<br />Don’t send your article to more than one journal at once<br />Don’t plagiarise, including self-plagiarism<br />Don’t repeat the same article with just small changes<br />Don’t wait for a decision before you start your next article.<br />
  13. 13. Possible outcomes<br />Accept as submitted – very rare<br />Accept with minor revisions<br />Accept with major revisions – with or without second peer-review stage.<br />Higher Education Quarterly receives c. 90 papers/year and accepts 30%, but 30% of those are never resubmitted after revision.<br />Reject – common<br />Studies in Higher Education rejects 350 of the 400 papers it receives every year!<br />
  14. 14. Why articles are rejected<br />Professor David Phillips (University of Oxford), Editor of Oxford Review of Education, offered the following ten reasons:<br />Article not ready, only a draft<br />Article is parochial<br />Poor English<br />Manuscript is poorly prepared <br />Too short or too long<br />Article is submitted to the wrong journal<br />Nothing new is stated or found<br />Under theorised<br />Under contextualised<br />Not a proper journal article<br />
  15. 15. Overcoming rejection<br />Rejection can be a positive result - it is sometimes better than major revision.<br />Prestigious journals only accept 20% of submissions<br />Very few papers are accepted without revision<br />Mentoring function of editorial boards<br />feedback from best in field <br />Act on comments <br />Try again<br />
  16. 16. Responding to Comments<br />Go through the reviewers comments and number each action expected of you.<br />Make a list of all actions, combining similar points – can you address them? If yes, how?<br />Revise the manuscript and resubmit with a covering letter explicitly outlining how you dealt with the reviewers comments.<br />If you couldn’t make a requested change, or disagree with the reviewer(s), then say so and justify why – the editor will make the final decision.<br />Make a decision to declare, or not, if you are submitting a rejected paper to a new journal – sometimes it helps?<br />
  17. 17. Proof stage<br />You will usually be emailed a pdf of the proofs of your paper.<br />Check them very carefully.<br />Identify errors, not usually possible to make significant changes, but no harm in asking if you think it’s important.<br />Select your type of reprint – usually pdf.<br />When published circulate to everyone who you think may be interested – don’t be shy.<br />
  18. 18. What’s your next move?<br />What might be your next step on the road to writing and getting published? For example:<br />Will you collaborate or go it alone?<br />Do you have any publishing priorities?<br />Do you need further support or advice?<br />Following the lecture, draw up a personal action plan with targets and a timescale for achieving them; what will you do if you don’t meet them (feel free to post on the blog)?<br />http://academic-publishing.blogspot.com<br />
  19. 19. Bibliography & Resources<br />HEA-ICS, 2007. Writing for Publication. http://www.ics.heacademy.ac.uk/events/displayevent.php?id=187 [accessed 28th June 2010].<br />Taylor and Francis Ltd, 2004. Getting published in academic publications: Tips to Help you Publish Successfully. At www.lancs.ac.uk/celt/celtweb/files/gettingpublished_js.ppt [accessed 28th June 2010].<br />Vitae, 2010. Publishing your research. http://www.vitae.ac.uk/researchers/1298/Publishing-your-research.html [accessed 28th June 2010].<br />

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