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Publication without tears: tips for aspiring authors - Emma Coonan & Liz McCarthy


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Presented at LILAC 2015

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Publication without tears: tips for aspiring authors - Emma Coonan & Liz McCarthy

  1. 1. Publication without tears: tips for aspiring authors Emma Coonan & Liz McCarthy Journal of Information Literacy
  2. 2. We plan to look at • Where and what to publish • What is a journal article anyway? • Writing for the Journal of Information Literacy • Peer review, copyediting and publication processes • Writing (as) process
  3. 3. • What is your story? Who is your audience? • Current research project? Could you publish something based on your literature review, findings from a pilot project, final project conclusions? • Early idea/exploration? Share reflections/interim findings via conferences or blogs • Writing by yourself or with a co-author? Where and what to publish?
  4. 4. Where and what to publish? • Read journal author guidelines and previous articles • Consider journal mission and scope E.g. JIL focuses on information literacy – not library skills, libraries or teaching in general • Peer-reviewed article? Shorter project report? • Consider writing conference reports, book reviews ... or becoming a peer reviewer
  5. 5. Activity 1: What is a journal article?
  6. 6. Presentation vs. paper • Structure – conventional divisions • Tone and register – more formal • Use of evidence – more overt, interwoven • Scope and purpose Conference papers – more visual, less detailed, more informal style, less ‘dense’ Written articles – longer and more detailed, use of literature, methodology, specific structure
  7. 7. Tell your reader … • Context - you’re contributing to a dialogue • Approach and method that underpin the research • Rigour - the validity of your approach and findings • What/why/how of your research
  8. 8. What/why/how • What is your research? • Why are you doing it? • How are you doing it?
  9. 9. Activity 2: What/why/how of your research
  10. 10. What/why/how • What is your research? What questions does it address (or ask)? • Why are you doing it? Why does it matter? What will it change? What interests/frustrates/niggles you about the topic? • How are you doing it? What’s your approach or method? How does it frame your findings? How does it help you mitigate bias?
  11. 11. Journal of Information Literacy • International, peer-reviewed, gold open access • Explores IL in all its forms • Aimed at diverse communities of IL practice • Published twice a year (June and December) JIL welcomes contributions that push the boundaries of IL beyond the educational setting and examine this phenomenon as a continuum between those involved in its development and delivery and those benefiting from its provision.
  12. 12. JIL editors Managing Editor: Cathie Jackson Editor-in-Chief: Jane Secker Book review editor: Ian Hunter Emma Coonan
  13. 13. • Relevance to JIL – within our scope? • Originality and interest to our audience – useful contribution to knowledge or good practice? • Title and abstract – appropriate wording and length and informative? • Methodology – appropriate? • Use of literature and referencing – good analysis of literature? Good referencing or signs of plagiarism? • Clarity of expression and structure – clear exposition of argument? Logical structure? Spell out acronyms, avoid jargon! Peer review criteria
  14. 14.  Accept for publication without amendment (almost never!)  Revisions required  Major revisions required followed by peer review  Resubmit elsewhere  Decline submission Reviewer recommendations
  15. 15. • Make a list of all the actions needed of you Can you address them? If so, how? • If you can’t, discuss this with the editors Tell us why (you can take your article elsewhere!) • Revise the paper and resubmit it with a covering letter detailing how you have addressed each comment • If there were comments you didn’t address, because you couldn’t or because you disagreed with them, say why (you may want to discuss with us earlier in revision process) • Remember that addressing these comments may unearth other suggested changes – several rounds of revisions may be required What to do with reviewer comments
  16. 16. JIL copyeditors Lizzie Seals Sharon Lawler Helen Bader Lisa Hutchins
  17. 17. JIL Copyeditors’ advice • Use the required template o Use the correct font and size - eg Arial 11pt for body text in JIL (if using the template, this should be default) o Number all section headings using the multilevel list option o Format headings as per the style sheet • Format your references using the journal’s house style o JIL uses Harvard style as used by Cardiff University o Remember to convert any EndNote references to text • Ensure all in-text citations are given a full reference at the end, and that all references are cited in the text
  18. 18. • Define acronyms and abbreviations on first use • Ensure diagrams and images are copyright-free and acknowledge their source • And specifically for JIL: o Use British spelling o Avoid footnotes – either incorporate information into the text or list non-cited information and websites under Resources and cited sources under References o List author name, affiliation and email address for each author, in the order given in the metadata, on the article loaded for copyediting JIL Copyeditors’ advice
  19. 19. Once it is published • Celebrate! • Tell the world – use the DOI link • Add it to your repository, acknowledging where published
  20. 20. Activity 3: Turning a short report into a peer-reviewed article
  21. 21. Writing process: eating the elephant • Keep focused Pin your central hypothesis or question and your what/why/how analysis by your desk. Make sure that everything you write is directed towards supporting and answering the question • ‘Flatpack’ your writing Dive in wherever you feel you have something to say. Write up the section which comes most naturally and compile the sections later • Free-writing Don’t wait until you know what you want to say – get ideas out of your head so you can reflect on and develop them
  22. 22. • Writing is an iterative process Draft, redraft, draft again (and see Lamott on first drafts!) • Find a good proofreader This could be a colleague, friend or family member, but always get someone else to read it through! • Learn to read critically to help you write critically Become a book reviews writer or a peer reviewer – or ‘buddy up’ with another aspiring author and support each other Writing process: eating the elephant
  23. 23.
  24. 24. Activity 4: Think about your next steps towards getting published. List up to 3 ideas about how you could follow up from this session and discuss in pairs.
  25. 25. Further resources Gordon, Rachel Singer. 2004. The Librarian's Guide to Writing for Publication. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. HEA-ICS. 2007. Writing for publication JIL Author Guidelines. idelines Nicholson, S. 2006. Writing your first scholarly article: a guide for budding authors in librarianship. Information Technology and Libraries 25(2) 108-111. Available at: Guhin, Jeff. 2012. How to turn a conference paper into an article (for early grad students). Available at: paper-into.html