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UKSG webinar - Writing for Academic Publication


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This webinar will introduce writing for academic publication for library staff. It will address issues such as:

- Identifying topics to write about
- Understanding the difference between peer reviewed and professional journals and the peer-review process
- Identifying where to publish
- The mechanics of writing
- Submitting to an editor
- Promoting your writing
- Developing productive writing habits

Published in: Education
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UKSG webinar - Writing for Academic Publication

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  2. 2. Writing for Academic Publication Helen Fallon Deputy Librarian, Maynooth University @helenfallon #UKSGwebinar
  3. 3. • VSO in Sierra Leone (1989-1991) • Read/researched Sierra Leone on my return to Ireland • Light bulb moment “write from your experience” • Wrote about teaching librarianship at University of Sierra Leone • Published in a professional journal: • Continued to write and encourage others to write/established academic writing blog/run workshops nationally and internationally My story
  4. 4. • What can you write about? • Who is your audience? • What is the purpose of your writing? • Where can you publish? • How do you write the piece? • How can you find time to write? • How can you promote your publishing? Your story
  5. 5. Inspiring Quotes If you’re clear in your mind about what you are going to paint, there is no point in painting it (Picasso) I have to start to write to have ideas (Françoise Sagan) Writing is a process of discovery. Sometimes you don't know what you know. You may know it but have no idea how it fits together (Alice Walker)
  6. 6. What can you write about? • Your practice/everyday work/a project you were involved with • Your research/thesis • Topic that interests you/topic you know a bit about • Other – book you read, conference you attended, course you undertook etc. • Consider what information you have • Consider what topics are popular Literature review Statistics Survey Quotes Feedback forms Photos Reflective journal
  7. 7. Where can you Publish? • Books and book chapters are usually commissioned – See Murray (2006) • Professional journal or peer reviewed journal • Where has the topic been covered before? What is your angle? • Do a search to identify potential journals • Consider Open Access Directory of Open Access Journals
  8. 8. Benefits of Open Access
  9. 9. Where can you Publish? • Predatory Publishing – What it is and how to avoid it • Predatory journals issue - Read contributor guidelines & a few recent articles • Send query e-mail to editor
  10. 10. Professional Journals Practice-based Monthly / bimonthly 500 to 2,000 words Short lead-in time Editor/editorial board make decision
  11. 11. Peer reviewed Journals Academic/Scholarly Articles 5,000 words plus Literature review (research context) Quarterly/ bi-annually Lead-in time Peer Review Process
  12. 12. Examples Professional journals Peer reviewed journals
  13. 13. Layout and structure Professional Journal Peer review journal Title Title and keywords Introduction Abstract – informative or structured Background / Context Introduction What happened? Background / context Outcome / results Literature review Reflection Method / Approach Conclusion Results / analysis Possibly some references Discussion Often include case studies Conclusion References
  14. 14. Writing prompts Write for five minutes, in sentences not bullets, using one of the following prompts • I am interested in writing about… • An area of my experience which I would like to write about is… • A really interesting project that I think people would be interested in reading about is… • I feel at my most creative when I’m writing about…
  15. 15. Writing - Outlining • Work from an outline – model your article on an article in your target journal that works well • View structure at a glance • Order ideas/ Sift & eliminate ideas • Contextualise/Give framework The reason many aspiring authors fail is that they throw themselves immediately into the activity of writing without realizing it is the forethought, analysis and preparation that determine the quality of the finished product Day, A. (2007) How to Get Research Published in Journals. Burlington, VT.: Ashgate. P.9
  16. 16. Task – outlining Draw up an outline for an article for a professional journal and begin each section with “This section will cover…” OR Draw up an outline for a peer-reviewed journal article and begin each section with “This section will cover…” OR Write your article as a story with a beginning, middle and end in no more than 500 words
  17. 17. Writing • Adhere to journal guidelines • Read some articles in recent issues of your target journal/Look at structure as well as content • Have a working title • Draft an abstract (good discipline) – informative abstract or structured abstract
  18. 18. Informative Abstract This article explores the integration of a Special Collection – the Ken Saro- Wiwa Archive - into the undergraduate curriculum at Maynooth University (MU). Following background information on the archive, the Development Theories module on the BA in Community Studies is briefly described. The rationale behind the decision to use the archive in the module is presented; learning outcomes are given; the content of the module is described; student feedback is presented and the method of assessment outlined. The article concludes with a discussion on how Special Collections and Archives might be further integrated into the undergraduate curriculum.
  19. 19. Informative Abstract © Taylor & Francis
  20. 20. Structured Abstract ©Emerald
  21. 21. Writing • Adhere to journal guidelines • Read some articles in recent issues of your target journal/Look at structure as well as content • Write from your outline • Write in sections – look at your outline • Include headings and sub-headings • Consider tense • Consider Voice – active or passive • Style isn’t evident in first drafts
  22. 22. Writing • Don’t look for perfection, just write - Give yourself permission to write badly • All writing is rewriting • You are a storyteller – what are the elements of good storytelling? • Draft and redraft • Read aloud • Put aside for a week then reread • Let go! (80%) • Refer to your query e-mail in your submission
  23. 23. Peer Review • Double Blind • Accept as is • Accept with minor changes • Accept with major changes (revise and resubmit) • Reject • If rejected, need to reconsider and possibly rewrite to some degree to match new journal style/guidelines for authors
  24. 24. Responding to Peer Review • Do not despair! • Acknowledge receipt • Go systematically through suggested changes • Make changes where feasible • Reread complete article • Resubmit explaining changes you have made and explaining why you have not acted on certain suggestions
  25. 25. After Publication • Check Sherpa for journal guidelines on depositing in an institutional repository • Accepted Manuscript Online (AMO) • Free downloads (50 T&F) • Social media - Tweet link to your article/create link in your e-mail signature • Altmetrics • Can you develop this topic further? • Celebrate success
  26. 26. Moving on With Your Writing • Time – snack or sandwich writing • Set goals • Look for collaborators – within and outside your discipline • Collect data – your practice • Describe, but also reflect and evaluate • Read & discuss
  27. 27. Books & Articles • Day, Abby (2017) How to get research published in journals. 2nd ed. Gower. • Fallon, H. (2011). The Academic Writing Toolkit • Kitchin, R. & Fuller, D. (2005) The Academic’s Guide to Publishing. London: Sage • Morris, W (2018) Superhero Writing Tips for Librarians • Murray, R. (2006) Writing Articles, Books and Presentations IN Gilbert, N (ed.) From Postgraduate to Social Scientist: A Guide to Key Skills. London: Sage, p. 149-170 • Murray, R. (2009) Writing for Academic Journals. 2nd ed. McGraw Hill/Open University More resources on getting published including a comprehensive bibliography are available on my blog
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  29. 29. Thank you! Please feel free to contact me: Helen Fallon, Deputy Librarian, Maynooth University @helenfallon #UKSGwebinar