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Publishing journal articles post PhD: Top tips by Dr Kate Woodthorpe

Kate is a Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at  the University of Bath. She completed her PhD in 2007 and details about her publishing, research and teaching can be found here. In this post she shares her top tips for getting journal articles published post PhD.

1. Try to get a paper published on methods. This is good for contributing to your discipline in terms of how you ‘do’ the empirical part, and is also good for developing your teaching profile. I’ve found it useful to teach methods courses as you are involved in the ‘core’ teaching and having a few papers on methods is evidence of your interest in it.

2. Publish in a journal that you know your contemporaries will read (even if not high impact). They will be the ones that come to you for inclusion in research bids, book chapters, general advice etc,

3. Publish in a journal that is important to your discipline so it is clear that you are making a contribution to wider disciplinary debates
(easier said than done!),

4. Edit a book if you can – it is so interesting to see different styles of writing,

5. Get into the habit of reviewing journal papers – so you can see some of the stuff that gets sent in (and therefore breaking the illusion of
perfection). It is, as my supervisor once said, also a free education!

  1. How does one “Get into the habit of reviewing journal papers”? Do you have to volunteer anywhere? Only ever been asked to review one paper, and that was as an emergency fill-in for someone who’d let the journal down & the editor and I happened to have a mutual friend. That’s not going to happen too often!

  2. How do I get on the reviewer list? I’ve been asked once so far but would be happy doing more..do I ask journals? do I wait until they approach me? I know I can’t count on my former supervisor for any help..

  3. I found that it was a case of networking – so meeting people involved in journals and letting them know I’d be happy to review for them. You could always email the editorial assistant and ask their advice on whether to contact the editor to let them know you are available – or to be added to the reviewer list if they have one. I also got involved in external organisations (study groups etc) so my name would pop up if editors were searching for someone to review a paper. Good luck!

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