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Writing for Academic Publication

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Academic writing II
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Writing for Academic Publication

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This is the PowerPoint from the annual Maynooth University Library "Writing for Academic Publication Workshop." The target audience is library staff who wish to write for publication but it will also be of interest to early-career academic staff

This is the PowerPoint from the annual Maynooth University Library "Writing for Academic Publication Workshop." The target audience is library staff who wish to write for publication but it will also be of interest to early-career academic staff

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Writing for Academic Publication

  1. 1. www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  2. 2. Writing for Academic Publication Helen Fallon Deputy Librarian, Maynooth University Helen.b.fallon@mu.ie @helenfallon
  3. 3. Learning Outcomes • Increased confidence and motivation to write • Learn how to structure a piece of writing • Develop writing and editing skills • Understand the peer-review process and the difference between peer-reviewed and professional publications • Better knowledge of how to write publishable articles • Piece of writing advanced www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  4. 4. Task 1 - Introductions www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library 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…
  5. 5. 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 www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library Literature review Statistics Survey Quotes Feedback forms Photos Reflective journal
  6. 6. Where can you Publish? • This depends on your audience and purpose • Books and book chapters are usually commissioned (template) • Journals are generally not, although some articles may be invited – do the key journals in your area have a twitter handle? • Peer-reviewed journals/academic journals • Blog post • Conference papers • Professional journals • Popular media including radio www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  7. 7. Professional Journals Practice-based Monthly / bimonthly 500 to 2,000 words Short lead-in time Editor/editorial board make decision www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  8. 8. Professional Journal - Structure/Outline Who, What, When, Where, How, Why What Happened? What was my role in it? What was the outcome? Professional journals often use case studies www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  9. 9. Peer reviewed Journals Academic/Scholarly Articles 5,000 words plus Literature review (research context) Quarterly/ bi-annually Lead-in time Peer Review Process www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  10. 10. Peer-reviewed journal Title and Keywords Abstract Introduction Background/Context Literature review Method/Approach Results/Analysis Discussion Conclusion References www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  11. 11. Examples www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library Professional journals Peer reviewed journals
  12. 12. 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 www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  13. 13. Task 2 - Defining Audience and Purpose • Answer the following questions in single sentences – Who is the audience for your writing? – What is the purpose of your writing? www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  14. 14. What evidence/data do you have? • Literature review • Library statistics • Survey • Blog • Feedback • Evaluation forms • Quotes • Photographs • Reflective journal www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  15. 15. Selecting a Journal • Talk to your supervisor - authorship • Look at the references in your thesis. What journals did you use? • Select some titles, study journal guidelines and scan past issues • Open Access – Directory of Open Access Journals – doaj.org • Ascertain copyright position www.Sherpa.ac.uk • Is it a trusted journal (predatory publishers) - https://thinkchecksubmit.org/ • Send a query e-mail to a named person I am writing an article on… This is a topic I have just completed a Masters/PhD on I think readers of your journal would be interested in this because… www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  16. 16. Open issue or themed issue? • Themed issues usually have a call for papers • May be on a topic of particular interest to you • Themed issue – 500 word abstract • Possibly higher chance of acceptance in open issue www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  17. 17. Titles that get noticed • Stimulate reader’s interest • Working title/final title • Attract and inform the reader • Stand out • Be accurate • Facilitate indexing e.g. Self and Peer Assessment as a method of improving quality: the Maynooth University Library experience www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  18. 18. Task 3 - Title and keywords • Give your article a working title • Allocate three keywords to help people retrieve your article www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  19. 19. Journal Article Abstract • Normal in peer reviewed journals • Details essence – tells what the article is going to do • Length determined by journal • Generally between 100 and 200 words – shorter than thesis abstract • informative or structured www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  20. 20. 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. www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  21. 21. Structured Abstract • Purpose • Design/Methodology/Approach • Research limitations • Practical Implications • Originality/Value • Paper type • Keywords www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  22. 22. Verbs • Study abstracts in your target journal. What verbs do they use? Addresses, argues, asks, concludes, covers, demonstrates, describes, discusses, elucidates, enhances, evaluates, examines, expands, explains, explores, identifies, maps, outlines, presents, proposes, reports, reviews, shows, suggests, summarises, surveys, synthesizes, touches on www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  23. 23. Task 4 - Writing an Abstract • Write an abstract for your article using one of the following models – Informative – Structured www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  24. 24. Outlining/Structuring • 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 www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library 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
  25. 25. Narrative/Story • Writing as storytelling • Beginning, middle and end (not necessarily in that order) • What makes a story interesting? • A story has a theme • A story has movement • A story has a flow • Something happens/changes • Try not to edit, just write • No new stories/just new angles www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  26. 26. Outlining/Structuring • There are different ways to structure articles • Study the structure of articles in your target journal • Model articles on other articles that work well (template) • Different structures can achieve the same results ways • Be aware of your audience www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  27. 27. Task 5 - 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 www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  28. 28. Headings and subheadings • Act as signposts • Break up text • Make the structure clearer • Allow the reader see at a glance the main themes of the paper • Help organise ideas • Help readers anticipate key points and track the development of the article www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  29. 29. Paragraphs • A new paragraph signals a move from one clear idea to another or change of direction • Should relate logically to the previous paragraph and relate to the overall theme of the text • The first sentence or two usually present the topic or theme and the following sentences expand on this • Short paragraphs, surrounded by white space, can be very effective in keeping attention and creating a visually attractive manuscript www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  30. 30. Language • Short sentences • Use positive rather than negative constructions – The lecturer did not believe the test was harmful – The lecturer believed the test was safe – Did not remember/Forgot • Use concise language – A majority of/most – Due to the fact that/because – Gave rise to/caused www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  31. 31. Writing • Put a fence around your writing – what you leave out is as important as what you put in • Have one main theme • Always write with the publication/outlet in mind • Look at articles in the journal/blog etc • If an article works well, try to work out why it works well, is it the content? is it the structure? Is it the style of writing? www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  32. 32. Writing • Don’t look for perfection, just write - Give yourself permission to write badly • All writing is rewriting • Read aloud • Put aside for a week then reread • Spell check www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  33. 33. Task 6 - section • Write a section of your article • You can start at any point - generally not the conclusion • Scientists often start with results – could start with case study • Background/Context often a good starting point www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  34. 34. Editing • Cut unnecessary words and phrases • Delete repetitive words • Delete unnecessary adjectives e.g.helpful tips, terrible tragedy • Delete unnecessary adverbs e.g. very, really, quite, basically, generally www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  35. 35. Editing • Date and save drafts • When finished put aside for a period then reread • Date and File preprint • Let Go! (80%) • If you have already sent a query e-mail to the editor refer to that in your submission www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  36. 36. 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 (citation styles) www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  37. 37. 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 www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  38. 38. After Publication • Check Sherpa for journal guidelines on depositing in an institutional repository http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/ • 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 www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  39. 39. Moving on with your writing! • Set goals and devote some time to writing • Write from your practice but situate in context of literature • Read (Different angles?) • Collect potentially useful data • Notebook/Journal – ‘Snack & Sandwich Writing’ • Collaborate (first author etc.) • Give and look for peer support • Keep writing! www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  40. 40. Conference Papers • Call for abstracts – social media • Follow submission guidelines • Audience/Purpose • Title must reflect what paper is going to do • Title – maximum twelve words • Opportunity to develop one or two main themes • Visual • Make a note of the questions people ask • Ask for feedback on what areas people would like to see developed • Opportunity to write up paper • Follow guidelines on style word count etc. www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  41. 41. Blog Posts • Plan your post – introduction, body, conclusion • Audience & Purpose • Title/Headline – functional and engaging • Writing style “I” • Maximise blog functionality – images, hypertext links etc – to enhance your post • Check copyright on images and credit images • Use your blog post to describe your publication • Create link to your publication in your blog post www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  42. 42. Books & Articles • Day, Abby (2017) How to get research published in journals. 2nd ed. Gower. • Fallon, H. (2011). The Academic Writing Toolkit http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/1387/1/HFSconul20.pdf • Kitchin, R. & Fuller, D. (2005) The Academic’s Guide to Publishing. London: Sage • Morris, W (2018) Superhero Writing Tips for Librarians http://bit.ly/2zxwFIn • 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 www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  43. 43. http://academicwritinglibrarian.blogspot.com/ www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library
  44. 44. Thank you! Helen Fallon, Deputy Librarian, Maynooth University Helen.b.fallon@mu.ie @helenfallon @library_MU www.maynoothuniversity.ie/library

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