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Writing for academic publishing Griffith College, Dublin

  1. N U I MAYN O O T H Ol l sc oi l n a h Éi r ean n M á N u ad
  2. Goals of this workshop By the end of the course participants will • Have drafted an article or other piece of writing • Understand the mechanics of writing (including structure and style) • Know more about the publishing process • Know more about increasing the visibility of their publications • Have developed increased confidence and motivation to write
  3. Why Publish? • To share your practice with others • To increase the impact/visibility of your work • To disseminate your research findings • To explore topics of interest • To add to the existing body of knowledge and create new knowledge • To gain recognition and establish a track record in a particular field - credibility/expertise • To enhance your curriculum vitae • To promote your institution • To express yourself in a creative way/personal satisfaction
  4. Different Types of Publications • Newsletter • Professional magazine • Popular Magazine • Academic (peer- reviewed) Journal • Hybrid Journal • Poster • Book Review • Book Chapter • Book (single author) • Book (edited collection) • Other opportunities – conference presentation, radio broadcast, television, so cial media
  5. Sources for writing • Research/thesis • A particular project • Your practice/everyday work • Topic that interests you • A paper you presented • Other • Consider whether you want to collaborate (principal author)
  6. 6 What to Publish • Research-based article • Practice-based article • Case Study • Conference Presentation/Poster/Paper • Book chapter • Book
  7. Identifying Publishing Outlets • Do a database search on your topic to see where else articles on this topic have been published • Databases in Griffith College – Ask your Librarian • (publications by staff in Irish Universities) • Search on Google Scholar • Directory of Open Access Journals – • Professional Networks - EDIN, AISHE,, etc. electronic discussion lists etc. • Calls for papers/book chapters/themed issues of journals • AISHE-J - • Who is your audience? What is the purpose of your piece of writing?
  8. Structure of practice-based article • Introduction • Background/Context • Case Study • Results/Reflection • Conclusion • Possibly some references
  9. Research-based article • Abstract (informative or structured) • Introduction • Background/Context • Literature Review • Methodolgy • Results/Analysis • Discussion • Conclusion • References
  10. Journal analysis  Who is the publisher?  Who is the editor/on the editorial board?  Is the journal national or international?  What do the guidelines for contributions stipulate?  Is some or all of the content peer-reviewed?  How many issues are there per year and how many of these are themed?  What types of material are published?  Are articles illustrated?  How many references do typical papers include?  How long is the average article?
  11. Drafting a query e-mail • Before writing/submitting • Editor • Single sentences – I am writing an article on… – My experience is this area… – I think that readers of your journal would be interested in… because…
  12. Outlining • Order ideas • Sift & eliminate ideas • Contextualise/Give framework • View structure at a glance • Can work on different sections – writing is not a linear process • Makes the process manageable 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
  13. Outlining/Structuring • There are different ways to structure articles • Study the structure of articles in your target journal • Read first for story then for structure • Model articles on other articles that work well (template) • Different structures can achieve the same results ways • Be aware of your audience
  14. Outlining Murray, R. (2005) Writing for Academic Journals. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press, p. 9 Context/Background Literature review Method/approach Results/Analysis Discussion Conclusion Topic 1 – 250 words Topic 2 – 250 words Topic 3- 250 words Introduction
  15. Title • Stimulate reader’s interest • Working title/final title • Final title should summarise the main idea of the manuscript • Attract and inform the reader • Stand out • Be accurate • Be fully explanatory when standing alone • Facilitate indexing and retrieval (avoid using abbreviations) • Suggested length no more than 12 words (APA Publications Manual) For more on titles consult Hartley, J. (2008) Academic Writing and Publishing: A practical handbook. London: Routledge, p. 23-27
  16. Author’s Name & Institutional Affiliation • Use the same form throughout your career • Omit all titles and degrees (e.g. Dr., PhD) • Where the is more than one author, names should appear in the order of their contributions • Institutional affiliation should appear under the author’s name • Provide an e-mail address for correspondence
  17. Abstract • Generally only required with a peer-reviewed article • Two types – informative and structured • Synopsis • Details essence (not the same as introduction) • Length determined by journal – typically range from 150 to 250 words
  18. Abstract • Compare the abstract with an outline of the manuscript’s headings to verify its accuracy • Use clear and concise language • Use verbs rather than their noun equivalent (investigates rather than investigation) • Use active rather than passive verbs • Begin the abstract with the most important points
  19. Informative Abstract 9/18/2013 20 By surveying reference practitioners on their perceptions of chat reference training, this study presents effective training techniques that could enhance the professional preparation for chat reference personnel. Results indicate that the most effective training techniques involve hands-on practice among trainees and easy access...
  20. Structured Abstract 9/18/2013 21 • Purpose • This article explores the benefits of a writing support programme in developing the skills and motivation of librarians to write for academic publication. • Design/methodology/approach • A brief review of the literature is presented. The model developed and implemented by this author is outlined. Findings from a survey of participants are discussed. • Research limitations/implications • The formal programme commenced in 2007. The publication process takes time, particularly in the case of peer-reviewed journals. This is exploratory work. It will take time to build up a body of information and a community of librarians writing for publication. Initial evidence indicates there is significant value to the programme. • Practical implications • The model is transferable and could help in building skills and confidence in academic writing. In addition academic writing could serve as a bridge between lecturing and library staff, addressing issues of common concern across the academy. • Originality/value • This is the first formal writing support programme for librarians in Irish universities. Models exist in the US. A similar model is used in the UK and Ireland to support lecturing staff writing for publication. • Paper Type • Case Study • Keywords • Librarians, publication, academic writing, writing intervention
  21. Keywords • Indexing terms • The way your article will be retrieved by databases/search engines etc. • Avoid unnecessary prepositions especially in and of - use library marketing rather than marketing of library • What terms do you use to do searches on this topic?
  22. Introduction • Introduces the substantive content of the paper/the research question/the problem • Tells why this issue/problem is important • Sets the scene • States the purpose • States the scope • States how issue is addressed/Describes the research strategy • Explains how this work relates to previous work in this area • Usually starts from the general and progresses to the specific • Generally quite brief - no more that a sixth of the total article length
  23. Literature review • Tells what others have found on the topic • Provides a context from which to illustrate how the work documented in the rest of the paper extends or advances understanding and knowledge • Demonstrates that the author is familiar with thinking on a topic and understands where their work fits • Highly selective and specific, referring to other pieces of work most relevant to the argument being made • Link your findings and conclusions back to the literature review
  24. Method • Describes how the study was conducted/how research was carried out • Different types of studies have different methodologies • Subsections where relevant e.g. Participant characteristics, sampling procedures, research design
  25. Results • Summary of collected data • Analysis of data stating findings and how they are being interpreted Where required should supplement the argument made with evidence e.g. statistics, tables, charts, maps, or quotes
  26. Discussion • Examine, interpret and qualify results • Draw conclusions and inferences from results • Emphasize any theoretical or practical consequences • Sometimes combined with results section if relatively brief and straightforward • Reaffirm how the research advances understanding and knowledge • Acknowledge the limitations of research • Outlines how future studies could build on and extend the research and argument reported
  27. References & Footnotes References • Follow journal guidelines • Complete • Accurate Footnotes • Provide additional content
  28. Appendices & Supplemental Materials • Appendix – suitable for material that is relatively brief and easily presented in print format e.g. List, copy of survey etc.
  29. On Writing 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) 9/18/2013 30
  30. Writing • To begin writing you have to begin writing • Writing generates ideas • Don’t look for perfection, just write • Give yourself permission to write badly • All writing is rewriting I just put down any sort of rubbish,” a celebrated critic once remarked about his first attempts. And putting down rubbish is good advice…the truth is that once a sentence is lying on the page, it is often shatteringly clear what is right and what is wrong with it. Put it down, and go on putting more of it down. Everything can be mended later Watson, George (1987) Writing a thesis: a guide to long essays and dissertations. London: Longman, p. 39
  31. Writing • Can start at any point, but generally not conclusion • Scientists often write the results section first • Write in sentences • Structure and Narrative • Storytelling • Tone (verbs, tense, first or third person, adjectives) • Sentences • Logical movement from sentence to sentence • Paragraphs • Transitions and signposts • All add up to movement/coherence/flow
  32. Writing as Storytelling • 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 • Perhaps try to write your piece from start to finish before beginning editing
  33. Drafting and Redrafting • All writing is rewriting • Draft and redraft • Number, date and save drafts • Refer back to your abstract • Ask a critical colleague to read • Revise title, abstract & article • Check references against journal guidelines
  34. Drafting and Redrafting • When finished put aside for a period then reread • Spell check • Date and File preprint (pre-refereeing) • Let go • If you have already sent a query e-mail to the editor refer to that in your submission
  35. Submission • Professional Journal – editor • Academic Journal – peer-review • Usually double blind peer review – Accept as is – Accept with revisions – Revise and resubmit – Reject Note: some content in academic journals may not be peer reviewed e.g. book reviews, editorial content, some case studies
  36. Peer review • Reply to editor indicating what you are going to do • Make changes as quickly as possible • Reread • Resubmit outlining what you have done • If you don’t take particular suggestions on board explain why • Keep postprint (post refereering)
  37. Why editors reject manuscripts • Author guidelines not followed • Not thorough (little substance) • Bad writing (lack of clarity and style) and/or grammatical errors • Subject of little/no interest to readers • Poor statistics, tables, figures • Subject or data out of date • Unprofessional appearance • Title • Too simple – reporting • Written at the wrong level
  38. Writing for a themed issue of a journal or edited collection • Papers on a related topic • Audience • Guest Editor • Invited contributors or call for contributors • Brief • Deadline
  39. Publicising Your Work Deposit in institutional or other repository Policy available at Set up slideshare account for presentations Create a profile using google scholar tations.html Professional Network Profile
  40. Professional Networking
  41. Moving on with your writing • Write • Describe, reflect and evaluate • Talk/Network • Notebook • Data • Collaborate • Be strategic – Have a plan – look for links/connections in what you do • Cite key people • Set realistic goals • Give and look for peer support • Consider everything you do as potential material for a presentation/paper • Set up a writing circle • Develop a culture of celebration around publication/presentation
  42. Further Resources and Bibliography on Academic Writing

Notes de l'éditeur

  1. Lexis Nexis, Westlaw UK and IE, Justis, Hein online and several more for Law, BSP, Communications and Mass Media Complete, Education Research Complete, from EBSCO, we currently have ASP, Sage Premier, Emerald Insight, and some other business and financial sources.
  2. Task. Draw up title, abstract & three keywords for your article/conference presentation
  3. Linked-In,Facebook, Twitter