Posts by admin3:
To write my last post for phd2published. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as the managing editor of this site but it is now time for me to move on to new things. When Charlotte offered me this opportunity just after my viva last year I wasn’t sure what I could contribute or whether it was a good idea but I have always taken every opportunity that has come my way so I said yes and saw it as a fabulous learning curve, and that’s exactly what it has been.
I have learnt a great deal about academic publishing and academic career development over the last 9 months and a great deal has happened for me on the back of being here thus, I shall use this last post to review my achievements through giving you my top tips:
Put Some Thought into Your Journal Choice and Don’t Be Scared of Top Ranked Journals:
For a variety of reasons I came to the end of my PhD not having published anything as a sole author. I had contributed to a number of policy reports but I had not got any peer reviewed publications out. this was a conscious decision which made sense at the time but at the same time when I got to the end of my PhD I was playing catch-up and this does impact upon your ability to get a post-doc position. Academic departments in the UK are now looking at what potential new staff can or will be able to offer toward the REF. For early-career researchers this is two publications in ‘good’ journals. ‘Good’ generally relates to impact factor and many early-career researchers are scared off from aiming at the top ranked journals in their field. One of the key messages from the Royal Geographical Society Post Graduate Forum Annual Conference Training Symposium (PGF-ACTS) was that if you have a piece which you think is relevant to that high ranking journal you should go for it! they treat everyone the same, even the big names get rejection letters! Read the rest of this entry “
In today’s post the Editorial Board behind the Journal of Peace and Conflict Development talk about how their journal is marking its mark in the changing world of academic publishing. This post was written by Benita Sumita and Roberta Hollanda Maschietto, doctoral researchers in Peace Studies, University of Bradford with input from the editorial board members of the Peace Conflict and Development journal.
“Can we improve our credibility without being ranked?” This potent question raised by one of the editorial board members defines the struggles that lie ahead for the Journal of Peace Conflict and Development (PC&D) nearly a decade since its founding. Apart from the continuing – now ever-more severe – funding constraints, the Journal is faced with having to prove its credibility through more mainstream avenues. It seems the PC&D is not visible within the UK’s mainstream cottage-industry of academic publishing and assessments, which has presumably led to a loss of the meagre financial backing the Journal received the last nine years. All these concerns need to be viewed within the contexts of the current climate of financial pressure in UK’s Higher Education and the increasing tendency to measure the quality, impact and ranking of journals by the number of times their articles are cited. It is perhaps time to question and rethink the systemically flawed nature of academic impact assessment rather than the credibility of a Journal such as PC&D that has made its own mark by reaching a wide and diverse national and international readership and attracting submissions from established scholars and practitioners. Read the rest of this entry “
“Publish or Perish” is a mantra which will be familiar to many of those working in academia. The pressure to publish your research in order to advance an academic career can be intense. PhD students and early career researchers in particular often find that their career prospects seem to go hand in hand with their publication record. I have heard several colleagues lament, after an unsuccessful interview, that the successful candidate had several first author papers. In the current climate, where funding for research is harder to come by, the competition for research posts is increasing, and having a good publication or two under your belt can be a considerable advantage.
The ultimate aim for a researcher in any field is to publish their research – to have it put out there in the public domain, to share their findings with the rest of the scientific community and to receive well deserved recognition for their research. The format of publication may take a variety of formats, for example journal articles, a book chapter, short news articles, reviews or letters. In Science, my own field, publishing of novel research is most typically in the form of a research paper in a scientific journal. These papers can be the result of many years of work, carried out by a great number of people. Due to an emphasis on collaboration, which is often encouraged by calls for grants involving groups of researchers all over the world to work together on the same project, the resulting research article can be a product of the work of many individuals. Therefore, rather than single or dual authored papers it is common to have several tens of contributing authors on a research article, and this number can grow to hundreds for large consortia, for example the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium which published the sequence of the human genome in 2001. Read the rest of this entry “
In this post Claire Warden, lecturer in Drama at Lincoln University, returns with another guest post, this time looking at the issues surrounding interdisciplinarity. You can follow Claire on twitter here. Recently I went to an Iron Maiden gig in Nottingham. Earlier in the day I had attended a yoga class and had then grabbed some sushi for lunch. Not owning an ‘Eddie’ top I decided to wear my Peter Gabriel 2003 tour t-shirt instead. An insightful friend called me ‘eclectic’ and I must admit that in all areas of life I rejoice in my slightly unusual day-to-day combinations: a lover of progressive rock but also a former classical soprano, a devotee of professional wrestling but also a reader of verbose Victorian novels. My friend is clearly right…I am nothing if not eclectic. This approach (call it eccentric if you will) actually impacts my work daily and I am starting to feel its effects more and more keenly.
In my last article for ‘PhD2published’ I briefly mentioned the importance of developing an interdisciplinary approach, of connecting our work with (or at least reading it alongside) the ideas of others outside of our immediate field. In this article I want to briefly begin to explore why and how this can be done. Read the rest of this entry “
By the time you have a paper ready to submit it is highly likely you would have a sense of your target journal. There is absolutely no reason not to aim for a leading journal, especially if you have received positive informal feedback. In human geography, for example, this might include journals such as Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Annals of Association of American Geographers, Environment and Planning A-D, The Geographical Journal and leading specialist journals such as Economic Geography and Political Geography.
Determining your journal will in part be shaped by content and scope of your paper compared to the journal’s stated mission. In order to maximise your chances of being successful you need to do the following – ensure you comply with the journal’s submission guidelines, engage with recent papers within the target journal, think carefully about an engaging title/abstract/keywords and finally make sure that your paper has a good balance of theoretical and empirical material. Top journals, as based on citation factor or overall reputation within the field, do not tend to publish empirical papers. Do contact the editor prior to submission if you want to reassure yourself about the suitability of the piece Read the rest of this entry “
Today we present part 1 of the second RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Annual Conference Training Symposium (PGF-ACTS) follow up pieces. In this post Professor Klaus Dodds looks at getting published in academic journals. Klaus is Professor of Geopolitics at Royal Holloway, University of London. Klaus is also Editor of the Geographical Journal.
For the vast majority of people undertaking a doctorate, getting their work published either during the research period or in the aftermath of the defence is a priority. The focus on journal publication is, more often than not, shaped by a number of factors; journal publications are highly regarded when it comes to future employment in academic and academic-related circles, journal articles are more manageable in the short-term compared to a potential monograph, articles are more likely to get read by non-academic audiences, and importantly publication whether in a journal or not fulfils a general desire to witness one’s scholarly work published online/print.
We target journals, therefore, for a variety of reasons including to secure that first academic post, after graduation. My comments reflect very much my own experience in the discipline of geography alongside publishing elsewhere in historical, political science, policy orientated and regional studies journals. I am also the editor of The Geographical Journal, and serve on the editorial boards of six other journals. Finally, multiple conversations with doctoral students I supervised in the past, and increasingly in the present, were sources of inspiration. Read the rest of this entry “
Following on from my appearence on the panel at RGS Postgraduate Forum – Annual Conference Training Symposium (PGF-ACTS) last week I present the first of three posts from the speakers on publishing. Todays post looks at writing and academic book and is brought to you by Professor Kevin Ward. Kevin is Professor of Human Geography at Manchester University and has been the Editor of Area a journal published on behalf of the Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) since 2010.
So, you’ve decided that you are going to write an academic book. Well, here are five tips:
1. It is worth considering the sort of book you want to write. Look at publishers’ websites and consider the following:
- Does the publisher produce the type of book that you want to write in your field?
- Are hardback and paperback versions of the book published simultaneously? If not, how many hardbacks does your book have to sell before the publisher will commission a paperback run?
- What marketing and distribution system does the publisher have?
- Does the publisher send out copies to academic journals for review?
- Does the publisher attend large academic conferences and participate in book exhibitions? Read the rest of this entry “
As a Geographer I am very proud to say that today I will be representing PhD2Published at the Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference. I have been asked to be on the panel for the Postgraduate Forum Annual Conference Training Symposium (PGF-ACTS). The purpose of the postgraduate forum is outlined below: Read the rest of this entry “
Over the last few months we have looked at writing and publishing journal articles from a variety of different perspectives but mainly in the social sciences so here is a post for the natural and clinical scientists amongst our readers. Todays post comes from Dr Jigar Jogia. Jigar completed his PhD in the field of Psychiatry and Cognitive Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, (King’s College London, KCL) in 2010. He is currently a Postdoctoral researcher in the section of neurobiology of psychosis (Institute of Psychiatry, KCL). He also lectures and delivers training to staff and students for the Graduate School Researcher Development Unit at KCL. Jigar recently won the Samuel Gershon Award for Bipolar Disorder Research, in this post he reflects on the importance of journal selection.
Recently I have published some original data in a peer reviewed Journal Molecular Psychiatry which is the highest ranked psychiatric journal at present with an impact factor of 15.470. The impact factor is a measure of the average number of citations to articles published in science and social science journals. It is commonly used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field; with journals with higher impact factors deemed to be more important. My advice to young postdocs in any field wanting to publish their research is to be realistic about the strengths and weaknesses of your studies and select the right journal, it is one of the most crucial parts of the publication process but the importance of this step is underestimated by many. Selecting a journal whereby your research can reach your target audience and have a real impact in your field is vital for furthering your career as a postdoctoral researcher. Publishing in a good journal will add indirect credibility to your work and also introduce you as a new researcher in the field. Read the rest of this entry “
Today’s post comes from Dr. Claire Warden and considers how to spend your time while moving from PhD to published. Claire is a Lecturer in Drama at the University of Lincoln. Her first book, British Avant-Garde Theatre is out with Palgrave next year. You can follow Claire on twitter here.
While commenting on a draft copy of my book, my wonderfully generous proof-reader made me rethink my use of citation with the following soupçon of wit:
“Quite a lot of references to what other scholars are doing. Sometimes these get rather too close to the ‘as Dr Dryasdust has said, “Shakespeare lived before the steam-engine”’.
The point being, citation in a book is substantially different from citation in a thesis. Dr Dryasdust’s comment is factually correct but we do not require the good doctor to tell us! And this gets to the crux of the difference between a thesis and a book: the former is written for examination, the latter is written to be read.
The humorous comment also points to a broader issue: the PhD-to-Book process is one of learning, personal development and transforming the way you write. While I completed my PhD in 2007, my first book will only hit the shelves (or shelf on my less ambitious days) next year. This might seem like a large gap and, as I finish the final draft, it certainly feels as if I have spent half a lifetime on it! But, as the story above shows, there is merit in taking your time over this process. There is a great deal of useful material on this site about the PhD-to-Book process, so what I want to do is focus on what to do while you’re waiting. Obviously honing our writing skills and ignoring Dr Dryasdust’s unnecessary interruptions are vital, but what else can be done? Read the rest of this entry “
Ernesto Priego – On Collaborative Blogging as Scholarly Activity. The Case of The Comics Grid. Part II.July 14th, 2011
“Every moment has its discontents, its challenges and failures. Yet no moment is every truly last, at least not so long as we persist in human conversation.”
From the start I knew that if The Comics Grid project was attractive to others it was going to grow fast. I therefore considered essential to design specific guidance documentation, that was later reviewed by the core editorial team. What started with one person, then five, has become now thirteen active contributors, including reviewers and editors. We have published 52 posts since January 2011, and have since maintained our publication schedule of two original posts per week. The blog has been viewed almost 28,000 times, and our analytics reveal that most readers find us by making comics research-related queries on Google.
A sense of mission is what has kept editors and contributors working together in spite of the logical challenges imposed by lack of face-to-face interaction (all work is done online, by email, on shared Google docs and on the blog’s dashboard). In what follows I’d like to share with you one the points that summarise our mission:
Ernesto Priego – On Collaborative Blogging as Scholarly Activity. The Case of The Comics Grid. Part I.July 12th, 2011
This week we are exploring different types of publishing with posts from Dr. Ernesto Priego. Dr Ernesto Priego is an editor, journalist, translator, poet, curator and researcher. He has been writing and teaching about comics since 1994. He lives in London. You can follow him on twitter here
“If collaboration and team working are going to be expected more of humanities researchers in future, then we need to think about how to make it seem more normal.”
One of the most satisfying and challenging projects I’ve been involved with recently is The Comics Grid. When people ask me what it is all about, I say “collaboration.” After I submitted the final draft of my PhD dissertation (ambitiously titled “The Comic Book in the Age of Digital Reproduction”), I couldn’t wait any longer to to create an actual platform, a research and teaching tool, something concrete (online resources are very much concrete and not “virtual” in the sense of “unreal”) with which to address a lack I perceived in the field.
This field is actually a multiplicity of fields. Since what has been called “comics scholarship” studies multimodal texts the methodologies employed to study them should equally be multmodal, i.e., combining different disciplines until not too long ago perceived (and in some cases still perceived) as essentially different. Media studies, communication studies, information studies, cultural studies, film studies, archeology, library science, history, geography, you name it: people studying comics within and outside academia have always employed a combination of approaches and terminologies produced and transmitted from these disciplinary areas. Read the rest of this entry “
From last Thursday to Monday, I’ve been completely immersed into replying reviewers’ comments to a paper which will be published as a special publication after a conference in October. Previously, I did receive some comments from reviewers for other conference papers, but the effort they required to reply was typically negligible.
Wednesday evening, however, I received 3 pages of commentary on my paper, 19 sections with comments in total. I was both terrified (it looked like a lot of work) and enthusiastic (the reviewers really analyzed my paper and provided valuable input) at the same time. It did look like a lot of work, and I also was questioning my ability to deal with it. When quickly glancing over the comments, I could immediately point out a few remarks for which I thought I would need the input of my supervisors.
I took a deep breath, and decided I’d better first finish the (also urgent) report I was working on.
Thursday afternoon I finally started working on the comments. I started by printing out the comments, and reading through them to get a general idea of what I was supposed to do, and to check if everything is clear and not contradictory from the different reviewers’ perspectives. Read the rest of this entry “
Today is the first response to Jess Drake’s question on how to deal with conflicting reviews. I approached Prof. Chris Hamnett and Prof. Matthew Paterson who have previously contributed to the body of advice and information on journal articles particularly revision and rejection. Their previous posts can be seen here (Chris Hamnett) and here (Matthew Paterson). The post below is a synthesis of their advice.
“Conflicting referee’s comments are not unusual. It would be surprising if everyone thought exactly the same. In general journals will go with the majority view from referees which is why many use three referees unless the minority view is so strong and convincing that they are willing to discount, to some extent, the views of the other two. Where one referee thinks the paper is good, but others see areas of weakness, you generally need to deal with these.
The big problem is where referees give contradictory suggestions, for example, one says shrink the theoretical section and expand the empirical section, and the other suggests the opposite. In these cases you need to make a reasoned decision on the basis of a close reading of the referee’s comments as to which, if either, is appropriate. If in real difficulty you could ask the editor for advice pointing to the contradiction. What is always important when you resubmit is to send an accompanying letter to the editor outlining the changes you have made and which referees criticisms they relate to and saying ‘I have addressed points A, B. and C of referee 1 but not point D, as this seems to contradict the recommendation of referee 2′. it is entirely legitimate to say that ‘I have not addressed point E as I believe that this is incorrect’ though you should always try to insert a sentence or two in the paper to explain why you have stuck to your original analysis or point. What editors want to see is a systematic and reasoned response to the main referee’s comments. They do not necessarily expect you to address all of them in the same depth or to agree with all of them. And if one referee recommends cutting X and the other says you should expand X, they cannot both be right” (Chris Hamnett). Read the rest of this entry “
Over the last few months we have covered a range of issues related to the publication of journal articles. A couple of weeks ago we received a question via twitter from Jess Drake aka @soilduck relating to how to deal with conflicting reviewers comments. Jess is a PhD researcher at The Fenner School, Australian National University. During the day, she dabbles in understanding the environment of post-mining landscapes. At night, she writes for her own blog, contributes to online communities, ponders science communication and open science/review, cooks, bakes and brews. In today’s post Jess outlines her concerns then tomorrow and Thursday we shall look at providing some answers. You can read more about Jess and her work here
When reading comments from reviewers, there is that odd occasion that reminds me of being a kid stuck between parents with opposing views. Your Mum tells you to clean your room before dinner. Your Dad tells you it is ok to do it after, but you must do it before you can watch TV.
This creates a lot of confusion for a kid: Who do you listen to? Which one is right? Are they both right? What do you do? Learning how to deal with paper reviews can be the same. Read the rest of this entry “