A Guide to WritingResearch PapersRob BrinerOrganizational PsychologyBirkbeck
2Outline Types of research publication/output Disciplinary differences Why write research papers? What’s the target and audience? Planning to write Writing Submission and the review process Concluding comments
3Types of research publication/output Journal article (refereed/non-refereed) Conference paper (refereed/non-refereed) Book/monograph Chapter in edited book Report for organization Professional journals and magazines Theoretical, empirical, critique, review
4Disciplinary differences Humanities– Books often more valued than research papers Social sciences– Mixed Physical sciences– Usually papers most valued, conference andposters
5Why write research papers? You have something to say Duty to the field Obligation to others (supervisors, co-investigators) Career Test ideas with a wider audience
6What’s the target and audience?  Target– Topic specific or discipline-wide journal– Specialist or generalist conference– Status of target – rejection rate, impact factor Audience– Size– Other PhD researchers, established researchers inthe field, others in related parts of discipline?
7What’s the target and audience?  The Conversation Metaphor– Who are the people having the conversation in yourfield– More importantly, what are they saying? What aremain debates issues?– What will you contribute or add to this on-goingconversation?– How will those people react to what you say?
8What’s the target and audience?  Some trade-offs and choices– What status journal/publisher – go for the bestmeans higher chance of rejection– Getting your ideas out there quickly versusspending time on numerous rewrites– Narrow highly specific focus versus big debate– Easy hits versus the-best-paper-you-could-write-ever– Finish thesis versus getting publications
9Planning to write What, exactly do you want to say? Why do you want to say it? What contribution does it make to the field? How can you support what you have to say(theory and evidence) Get the argument and structure clear beforeyou write Discuss and negotiate with potential co-authors
10Writing Develop detailed structure based on argument If you aren’t sure why you’re writing what you’re writingstop and go back to argument Revise argument and structure as often as isnecessary Try to set deadlines for sections and final draft Ask for others to read and comment Re-read many times yourself Revise and craft as much as you can bear to
11Submission and the review process Accompanying letter and other documentation Accepted for or rejected without review Reviews returned Reject, or revise and resubmit Maybe many iterations Final decision – accept or reject If reject don’t give up! – Different journal?Rework paper?
12Concluding comments Do write research papers Be clear about the contribution you want to make andwho your audience are Get as much help as possible Look for external deadlines (e.g. special issues,conferences) Can be an extremely good way of focusing anddeveloping your PhD Try to enjoy it! It’s your research topic and there arethings you want to say about it…