Academic Publishing: Challenges and Opportunities


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ppt of Dr. Renato C. De Castro during the 3rd NOCEI Research Forum held at the San Pablo Colleges, San Pablo City last October 19, 2007.

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Academic Publishing: Challenges and Opportunities

  1. 1. 3 rd NOCEI Research Forum San Pablo Colleges October 19, 2007 Academic Publishing: Challenges and Opportunities Paper delivered during the 3rd NOCEI Research Forum held at San Pablo Colleges, San Pablo City, Laguna last October 19, 2007.
  2. 2. What is academic publishing? <ul><li>Pertains to a system of writing and research that is necessary for academics to review published works and make it available for a wider academic community. Most academic works or articles are published in journal article or book form. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What makes academic writing unique or special? <ul><li>In academic publishing, a paper must be an academic work that is published in an academic journal. It should contain original research results, reviews, critiques existing results, or recommends new policies. An article should only be considered valid if it undergoes a process of peer review by one or more reviewers in order to determine if the content of paper is suitable for publication. Articles usually undergo a series of reviews, revisions, editing, and resubmission before finally being accepted or rejected for publication. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Academic Writing is Unique (its is boring and tedious) <ul><li>Journal </li></ul><ul><li>Selected readers—specialist and academics. </li></ul><ul><li>Use of theory and dry data. The use of highly specialized jargons. </li></ul><ul><li>Test theories or formulate new theories. </li></ul><ul><li>Undergoes a peer review process. </li></ul><ul><li>Magazine </li></ul><ul><li>Maximizing the popular readers’ interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Use of anecdotes, description, and narration. </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance the readers’ interest in the articles. </li></ul><ul><li>A quick acceptance from an editor who recognizes that you wrote an article that can be appreciated by the general public. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Crux of the Matter: The Peer Review Process <ul><li>Began in the Royal Society of the Natural Sciences in 17 th Century England. It is based on the unpopular or elitist belief that science could only move forward through transparent and open exchange of ideas backed by experimental evidence and decided </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Peer-Review Process <ul><li>The final verdict about any submission is with editor. </li></ul><ul><li>Editors usually rely on the reviewers recommendations. </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewers generally ask the question: is there anything new and interesting in the article. </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewers usually focus not on the strength but on the weakness not the strength of the article. </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewers generally focus on two types of flaws: a) particular phase of the planning and execution of research; and the whole article—nothing new in the article makes no new contribution or it doesn’t meet the high standards of the journal. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What should we submit? Scholarly article of course! <ul><li>Writing articles that entails the scholarly method and values. Scholarship is the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their claims about the world as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to and accepted by the academic community. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Good Scholarship is Reflected into Three Areas <ul><li>Data gathering related to observation (empirical) ; </li></ul><ul><li>Adherence to scholarly procedures—used of citation. </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarly values—specialization, self-critical, value-free, honesty, and hard-work. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Challenges of Academic Writing <ul><li>Academic writing is difficult—rejection rates of many academic journal could go up from 50 to 90%. </li></ul><ul><li>Many reviewers adhere to a very elitist tradition—they tend to view that most of what gets published falls below their academic standard. </li></ul><ul><li>Academic writing is very tedious. To be published requires finding time for the never ending tasks of writing and rewriting. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Challenge… <ul><li>Professors have to cope with very heavy teaching load. </li></ul><ul><li>Academic writing requires more skills than teaching—originality and independent judgment. </li></ul><ul><li>Most prestigious journals do not give honorarium—it is not a financially profitable venture. Scholars usually publish for honor and prestige not for financial rewards. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Why we should write? <ul><li>For enjoyment of the challenge. The curious and open-ended habit of the mind involves “game or play.” Look at academic publishing as a game. </li></ul><ul><li>For a lifetime-accumulation of knowledge and understanding of our world. Persistent interest is an inward drive without which scholars cannot keep up a lifetime of productive efforts. </li></ul><ul><li>For promotion, self-esteem, and for possible attendance and participation in international conferences with other scholars. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>As a clear proof of our specialization and claim to knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>To change the world. To fulfill Marx’s 11 th thesis on Feuerbach “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways; the point is to change it.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Facing the Challenge of Academic Writing <ul><li>Institutional support is necessary. Professors will only start writing if the environment is supportive to such culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Forget about academic politics/academic racketing and start focusing on writing and research. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Facing The Challenge… <ul><li>If you want to publish, read professional journals religiously. </li></ul><ul><li>Inculcate the culture of scholarship—develop your specialization and never be an academic butterfly. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand that writing is a generative process—writing engenders thinking, which engenders more writing and more thinking. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Facing the Challenge… <ul><li>Do some very crucial networking with your peers. </li></ul><ul><li>Manage your time efficiently between lectures and research. However, never assume they are separate. </li></ul><ul><li>Be realistic about where to submit your work and never let rejection bring you down. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Challenge… <ul><li>Develop a habit or regimen of writing regularly. </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare to face a life of a nerd or a one-track mind (and often absent minded) academic. </li></ul><ul><li>Be realistic and be thick-skinned. Top-drawer journals have very competitive and tough peer review process. It is better to start with least prestigious journals. Also be prepared to be rejected and even insulted. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Last Word of Advice <ul><li>“ … writing is a lifelong apprenticeship. Our ability to develop and express ideas emerge as we confront more intellectually challenging subjects. In any case, being able to write well does not guarantee publication. To be a successful academic author, you also need to understand how the academic community operates.” </li></ul>