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


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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. http://patthomson.net/ http://explorationsofstyle.com/
  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 http://www.ics.heacademy.ac.uk/events/displayevent.php?id=187 JIL Author Guidelines. http://ojs.lboro.ac.uk/ojs/index.php/JIL/about/submissions#authorGu 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: http://bibliomining.com/nicholson/firstarticle.htm Guhin, Jeff. 2012. How to turn a conference paper into an article (for early grad students). Available at: http://jeffreyguhin.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/how-to-turn-conference- paper-into.html

Notes de l'éditeur

  • Jane
  • Let’s think about what a journal article IS and what it’s for.
    How is an article different – in feel, in purpose, as a read – from other kinds of publication?

    Small-group discussion for 2 minutes, then feed back to whole group for informal discussion.
  • For example, let’s compare a journal article and a conference presentation.

    Structure – there are more overt, often more rigid, conventions for how to sequence parts of your story (introduction/context/research question, literature review, method, findings, discussion, conclusion/reflection, further research opportunities). These may not appear as headings in the text, but most journal articles will contain most or all of these elements, usually in this order.
    Tone and register are usually more formal, and assertions are generally ‘hedged’ or qualified rather than being absolute
    Use of evidence – presentations often have references at the end rather than interweaving the evidence into the flow of the argument. Articles may not reference overtly all the way through, but will usually start by reviewing the literature in the topic and situating the paper’s aim and findings in dialogue with what’s gone before.
    Scope and purpose – a paper is usually a contribution to or advancement in knowledge (albeit a small one: another brick in the wall!) rather than a report, exchange of experience or update. Journal articles generally focus on a single topic of concern and look at it in a detailed way, making strong links with the wider context.
  • These issues need to be addressed explicitly in a peer-reviewed article. They are part of what peer reviewers will look for!

    Context: ensure you refer to the literature and place the work within a wider context. This helps your readers situate it with reference to their own knowledge and experience of the field, and it also helps to signal what you’ve done that’s different or new – your own contribution.

    Approach and method: this is so much more than choosing a scientific-sounding methodological label! How you approach your question, the framework you choose to work within, and how you design your data collection instrument, are what ensure the validity and integrity of your work. I strongly advise looking into the various methods available to you for the sort of work you want to do – don’t just fall back on surveys (see the recent In the Library with the Lead Pipe article: http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2015/ditchthesurvey-expanding-methodological-diversity-in-lis-research/). Get a guide book for your chosen method and use it as a tool to underpin your whole research process as well as the write-up.

    Rigour: You should also back up any claims you make with appropriate evidence (otherwise it’s just your opinion!). Some of this will come from the literature/the research context; some from your data.

    What/why/how: Need to be original – are you just telling a familiar story?
  • These questions are useful in two ways:
    1. In the finished article, for situating the research in its context and signposting what the article’s contribution is; but also,
    2. In your own thinking and writing process, so you can be clear about the ‘big picture’ of what you’re doing.

    And each answer – or set of answers – feeds in directly to the major conventional sections in an article that set it apart from other types of scholarly communication, as we’ve talked about already. The ‘what’ will inform your introduction; the ‘why’ will, too, and will also help you to choose which parts of the literature to use to contextualise your work; the ‘how’ is crucial for your methods section. This very simple framework can help your thinking and writing, as well as help structure your finished piece of work.
  • Consider the what, why and how that lies behind your own conference presentation – or the paper you’d like to write, which might be different – or, indeed, of the research you’d like to carry out. (The questions – with some further prompts – follow on the next slide).

    Try to use natural rather than ‘academic’ language to answer these questions (it’s harder than you might think!). Be as personal or as passionate – about it as you can!
  • Individual activity – 5 minutes.
    Or work in pairs if you prefer! If you get stuck, tell the other person about your research in natural (non-academic) language: this can often help you to make connections and see what’s important.
  • JIL has been published since 2007 and has been regularly published twice yearly from the beginning (this helps with getting indexed in databases like Scopus).
    Gold open access – the final, published version of every article is available free of charge – but the journal does not charge APCs (article processing charges). It is supported by the CILIP IL group.
  • Liz
    Give out peer review criteria?
  • Once accepted, the paper is passed to copyediting
  • The main issue is to follow the journal guidelines – format your paper in the way that you are asked (it’s like being a student all over again …)
  • Cathie
  • Group activity – 10 minutes.
    At this point we give out a short article and asked people to work in groups to think about how it could be turned into a peer reviewed article. We give them our peer review form at the same time.
    Make it clear we are not expecting them to critique the article but to think about what it would need to be a peer reviewed article
  • Break your writing down into sections – it’s like how you eat an elephant : )
    Keep focused on the ‘big picture’ (the research question or hypothesis) while you do the minutiae – the small-scale, step-by-step stuff.
    Use flatpacking and free-writing techniques to get your ideas out of your head and onto paper. Writing is a form of thinking – you don’t have to commit yourself to every word you write down; you can ‘try on’ different standpoints.
  • Is there any one here at the session who would be interested in buddying up? Swap your details now!
  • Three great sources of real-world help about writing.
  • And a couple of ‘guide books’ for thinking about research methods!
    #DitchTheSurvey article: http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2015/ditchthesurvey-expanding-methodological-diversity-in-lis-research/
  • Group activity – 10 minutes.
    At this point we give out a short article and asked people to work in groups to think about how it could be turned into a peer reviewed article. We give them our peer review form at the same time.
    Make it clear we are not expecting them to critique the article but to think about what it would need to be a peer reviewed article