Getting Published in MCT Dr Claudia Eckert DDEM, The Open University
Overview• Why publish?• What type of paper?• Where to publish?• When to publish?• Who should publish?• How to publish?
Why do you publish ?• If you do not publish, no-one knows what you have done• Publications are a key component of your CV• You get feedback on your work through publications• Your supervisors will help you to get this piece of research right• Writing papers is a good basis for writing a thesis• Mission of the university to share knowledge• A group/department needs to publish– get known– obtain funding– be successful in the research assessment
What paper could you write• Literature reviews – Require substantial conceptual work• Problem descriptions – descriptions of situation – descriptions of identified problem• Solution descriptions – tools, methods, guidelines, processes – discoveries, proves, etc.• Details of research• Summaries of research• Position papers – A proposed argument – usually experienced academics
Where do you publish ?• Seminars (not reviewed) – Useful quick feedback• Workshops (sometimes not reviewed) – built up confidence in small audience• Conferences (reviewed) – quick turn around• Books/ Review articles – Grab opportunity, often by invitation• Academic Journals – Peer reviewed – Rigorous substantial reviewing
When are you ready to publish ?• This depends on where you want to publish• You generally need a completed piece of work – problem – solution – validation• This is not the thesis, but a substantial part of it.• The work needs to be contextualised, i.e. know where you are going
Contribution• The amount of publications per thesis vary
Contribution• The amount of publications per thesis vary• The amount of papers vary by field• Typical number – one to two journal papers minimum• Conference papers are stepping stones to journal papers
Who should publish• First author – the person who has done the work - you• Supervisors as co-authors – You get their attention – They contribute by getting money for you and direct your work• Supervisor as first authors – unusual, if it is mainly your work – you might be invited to contribute to supervisor paper• Corresponding author – the person that submits the paper and communicates with the journal.
Authors• All authors should agree on the arguments in the paper• All authors are jointly responsible for the publication• All authors should have read all of the manuscript and agreed to it before submission• All authors should be able to answer questions on the paper if they are asked to do so – e.g. at a meeting.
Writing with other people• Role of the student – draft outline – write draft – suggest paper• Role of supervisor – suggest paper / outline core argument – comment on paper – use paper to teach you how to write – edit paper• If you co-author misunderstands you, you have not written it clearly
Where: conferences versus journal• Conferences – quick feedback – good way to meet researchers in the field – good way to get overview of the topics in field – pick up the language – prestige varies with field • Look at acceptance rate • In particular in computer, conferences can be hard to get into – quite expensive • Ca. £ 1000 in Europe • Ca. £ 1500 in US
Journal• Easier to access for readers• Usually higher standards• Rating / Impact factor of the journal gives you standing• Usual more careful reviewing process• Usually looked at over far longer periods of time• Completed pieces of work
Expertise of supervisorsHow much you supervisor knows about your topic andwhere to publish depends greatly-Positioning of the work in different communities-What are they know for?-What would you like to be know for-How many students have they supervised - New supervisors are very enthusiastic - Expertise supervisors know the process
Finding the right place to publish• Pick the community in which you want to be known – The same as your supervisors give you introduction, but it can be hard to step out of the shadow – A different community might be a better match• Identify journals and conferences in the area – highest cited – best place to meet people – understand publishing culture of journal / conference• Learn the who is who – people who dominate your field – methods that are used in particular journal / community – don’t upset likely reviewers
How: Process of writing a paper• Where: Identification of an opportunity – i.e. conference, call, contribution• Gap: Framing the paper in the context of other literature. What is your contribution?• Write an outline of the paper• Talk to the your supervisors• Write a draft• Send of for comments in good time• Rewrite the paper• Send of for comments• Handle submission process
Generic structure of a paper• 1. Introduction• 2. Literature review• 3. Problem description• 4. Contribution 1• 5. Contribution 2• 6. Validation• 7. Implication / Discussion• 8. Conclusions and further work
Targeting your paper• Pick the right place• Look at past papers from the conference journal – variations in standard – variation in degree of formality – bias towards particular methods• Use the right format from the beginning• Stick to the word limit – this determines were you can publish some work• Remember it is harder to write a good short paper than a good longer one
Does and don’ts• Don’t submit an abstract before you have done the work• Don’t decide to submit a paper a few days before a deadline• Don’t fight your supervisors over authorship• Leave enough time. It always takes much longer than you think• Pick conferences with special issues• Remember that submitting also takes time
The wonderful deadline• Try to submit conference papers by a deadline• You can always improve a paper – let go and submit it on time – you might be able to revise it later• Special issues of journal are useful because they have deadline• A deadline forces you co-authors to respond in time• Plan your own work ahead to a conference• You usually can negotiate an extension, but ask in good time
Publications and your thesis• Use the publications to drive the thesis – publish as you go along• Use the thesis to drive the publications – target publications that advance your thesis• Try to publish chapters of your thesis to – get feedback on the work – get a close over a chapter• Try to publish as you go along, you might not do it afterwards
Title and Style• Title – send out clear signals – describe what the paper is about – provocative titles are picked up on• Style: academic writing should clear – clear – unambiguous – unpretentious – as wordy as necessary and as brief as possible
Response from the journal• Accept as is – never happens• Accept with minor changes – paper will most likely be taken – recommendation can be anything from typos to cutting half the paper• Accept with major changes – need to responded to in text and in rebuttal – papers will be reviewed – paper can still be rejected – this can go through several rounds• Reject
Response from the journal• Many excellent papers are rejected – this is not an affront to your dignity or intelligence.• Referees take a deal of time to review your paper – sometimes they get it wrong or fail to understand what you have written, but mostly their points are valid.• Wait 24 hours before firing off a reply to the journal.• Consult all of your fellow authors.• Do what is asked, if it is reasonable…………..• Make point by point response when resubmitting.