Browsing the archives for the Anna Tarrant tag

Baby on board, so time to take my leave (at least for a little while!)…by Anna Tarrant
Posted by Charlotte Frost

baby-on-boardThe time has come to announce that this is my last post for PhD2Published for a little while (boo! :-( because I am going to be taking some time off to have a baby! :-) She (yes apparently it’s a girl!) is due at the end of April 2013 so my attentions will be re-directed elsewhere for a while.

I have thoroughly enjoyed being the Managing Editor for PhD2Published and given that my body is being incredibly productive, I thought I would also take this opportunity to reflect on my time with PhD2Published to share some of the things I have learnt.

Becoming Managing Editor was a ‘seize the moment’ type affair (my first tip; seize any opportunity that you can – but be strategic!). I was working as a Senior Teaching Associate at Lancaster University (a teaching only position) at the time and I felt really disconnected from the world of academic publishing and research. In identifying a need for support and guidance in publishing I embarked on an online search for resources and that was when I came across PhD2Published.  As luck would have it, Charlotte was looking for someone to fill the Managing Editor role so I jumped at the opportunity and just over a year later I am so grateful I did. Here’s why:

I have learnt about how and where to publish

One of my roles as Managing Editor is to source material relating to topics relevant to academic publishing. With a desire to publish myself I sought information that would not just help me, but others too, in all our publishing journeys. This helped me to collate useful material that also built a strong personal, but openly accessible narrative about publishing.  In the past year I have invited academics of various career stages to write blogs, ranging in focus and including (but not limited too): contemporary publishing models such as Open Access; developing academic writing (see the benefits of writing in groups and collaborative writing); and reflection on publishing and emotion (e.g. Publish or Perish). I have even written my own resources for the site (see my series of #acwri summaries and what not to send for peer review) and for other reputable blogs including Guardian Higher Education.

As well as publishing blogs, I have gained a great deal of knowledge and confidence in publishing in more traditional ways. In the past year I have had three journal articles accepted, have had a book chapter published, with another on the way, and have been asked to peer review for several journals – all skills I needed to acquire but felt less able to in my teaching post. Needless to say, I am now a Research Associate at the Open University and can boast a much-developed CV.

I have upskilled

  • I have learnt how to blog, how to set up a blog site and how to write for different audiences,
  • I have learnt how to use Twitter, to network, to establish a professional identity, to share resources, to chair and manage a live chat (#acwri) and a large scale online project (#acwrimo),
  • I have also learnt how to use a range of different social media and applications including Twitter, Storify, Paper.li, Dropbox and Google Docs.

Networking: online and off

Networking and contacting academics from a variety of backgrounds, disciplines, geographic locations and so on has also launched me into a supportive, active and engaged community across multiple social media platforms; the website itself, Twitter and Facebook. Meeting people at conferences who know of me through Twitter has undeniably enhanced my ability to network and to meet people in my fields of research. Get known on Twitter, it helps to enhance your networking skills and visibility at conferences!

I have become involved in emerging academic debates about publishing/writing

Finally, PhD2Published has also expanded my research interests and expertise, so much so that I gave a conference paper about it at the SRHE Annual Conference 2012. This has afforded me the opportunity to reflect critically on academic use of social media for knowledge production and there is even a publication in the pipeline about this very topic, so watch this space!

Last but not least, as well as acquiring a range of skills I have also found a great colleague and friend in the one and only, charismatic and creative, Charlotte Frost. She is a quirky, selfless lady (with a penchant for pretty, purple, glittery things) and a true inspiration. I have the utmost respect for her and she has truly shown me that respect is earned; through hard work, tenacity, friendship, intelligence and a lust for life. I have a lot to thank her for and everyone who I have had the pleasure of working with/meeting in the past year or so.

Of course, I am not disappearing completely so hope to see you online soon!!

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Questioning the legitimacy of new-form digital projects: An autoethnography of #AcWri and PhD2Published by Anna Tarrant
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Image from Mochimochiland.com

This blog post by Anna Tarrant (aka PhD2Published’s Managing Editor and co-instigator of #AcWri) is part of a series that asks after new forms of scholarship projects and demonstrates how academic out-put is changing in the digital age.

From blogs like the Thesis Whisperer to Twitter communities like #PhDchat there are a number of ways in which academics are harnessing digital communication technology to support each other and their work within and without institutions. And some are even outright reinventing what academic scholarship might be. We are well beyond the early phase of academic listserves and blogs and into a – perhaps third wave – of digital discourse design.

In this series I’ve invited the people responsible for these types of projects what their intentions where when the established them. How their projects have changed the way they (and we, as participants) work, research, share, support and interact with each other as global colleagues. And how they might describe what the emerging skill-sets are and their benefits and pitfalls.

When I first contacted Charlotte just over a year ago asking if I could become the Managing Editor of PhD2Published, I never suspected what kind of new doors it would, and could, open for me. In this blog piece I reflect on the role PhD2Published has played for me in the early development of my academic career and muse about how online spaces such as this are integral to an emerging movement that is transforming academic knowledge production and empowering contemporary academics. While my personal experiences are fairly unique, one of the ways in which I think we can learn about and understand the position, increased uptake and legitimacy of online academic spaces is by adopting autoethnographic methodologies; reflecting on our own positions in these new online participatory cultures.

I found PhD2Published while looking for some guidance and support for my newly forming publishing plans. I was on a short, fixed term contract as a Senior Teaching Associate at the time, which meant that the majority of my thinking and time was dedicated to teaching plans, maintaining relationships with my students and marking. While I maintained a fantastic mentor in my PhD supervisor, I felt adrift. It wasn’t part of my paid role to publish at this point, but I was conscious of the need to develop personally in order to competitively pursue the career I so long for (something permanent that combines both teaching and research – note I am currently in my third short-term academic contract since Oct 2010). At this time, I knew that I had to have a publishing strategy and some personal goals to become established in my field. Feeling lost in my institution and disconnected in terms of my research aims and development, I went in search of something else; support, community, the ‘how to’ of academic publishing. In the end, I turned to the Internet for this support and PhD2Published couldn’t have provided a better opportunity.

In the past year or so, since being involved with the site as a Managing Editor, I have learnt so much. In brief, I have learnt how, and where to publish to maximize my impact. I have had two traditional style journal papers accepted, I have contributed to various blogs, including the Guardian Higher Education blog, I have learnt how to use Twitter, Facebook and other online platforms to enhance my professional profile and have set up my own professional blog, which has even attracted attention from people outside of academia. I have also up-skilled; not only have I learnt how to run and manage an academic blog, I have networked much more widely on a variety of social media platforms to the point where I am recognized for my work at conferences. I have learnt a great deal from others – having also collaborated on #Acwri, the monthly live chats Dr Jeremy Segrott and I run on Twitter. And I have continued to publicly share my experiences in order to support others.

The #AcWri live chats in particular were established by myself and Jeremy after PhD2Published’s writing initiative, AcBoWriMo (now AcWriMo), when Jeremy was publicly searching for a community for academic writing discussion. It was quickly recognized that a much larger community of academics (of different disciplines, career stages and nationalities) wanted support with the emotional, as well as practical elements of one of their main crafts. Jeremy and I decided to collaborate and run fortnightly live chats on Twitter focused on different aspects of academic writing under the hashtag #AcWri. The intention of this was to establish an on-going, online participatory community, an open platform for sharing knowledge about academic writing (empowering each member as experts in their right) and to generate useful resources in the form of sumWwri has been successful in these goals so far, but what does this mean for academic knowledge production and has this changed our ways of working?

The establishment of the #AcWri community has emerged from, and aligns with PhD2Published’s (and other sites’) ethos of open, participatory learning but it has also contributed to changing the ways we work/research, publish/share and network/support each other. It allows a diverse group of researchers to connect and share their knowledge beyond the physical boundaries of institutions and to publish in new ways that are available to others beyond academia. It has allowed for a more engaged and open conversation about the ‘hidden injuries’ (Gill 2009) of neo-liberal academia (in this case through frank discussions about writing, a key part of the publishing we need to do, or risk ‘perishing’). It also allows us to share our successes and failures, to support and to network with one another in ways that have been less available to us before. The need for these spaces is evident in that the community, in size and quality of contribution, has flourished and is also self-perpetuating without the need for Jeremy and I to intervene beyond the live chats.

Importantly, the increased use and uptake of these online academic sites indicates broader changes, both within, and outside academic institutions that cannot be ignored. What is (not) happening within institutions that is encouraging more scholars to go online? Is this indicative of an absence of support in contemporary academia for its staff, particularly those who are Early Career? All of these questions are beginning to be raised and I am really excited to be part of a group of scholars (who have also written for this series of blogs) who are reflecting on, and even theorising about the increased uptake of online academic spaces where academic knowledge production is taking place. Through my involvement with PhD2Published and #AcWri I have personally developed essential and empowering skills that are required by the contemporary Early Career academic and yet for some reason these spaces still lack legitimacy

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#acwri live chat 24.01.13
Posted by atarrant

The #acwri live chat this week focused on the value of Twitter for supporting academic writing. Some of the key Tweets from the discussion can be viewed below but the following briefly summarises the discussions.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was a lot of support for using Twitter to help with academic writing. Those who took part in the chat are established Twitter users and already use the #acwri hashtag to discuss writing. However the reasons why Twitter is considered useful were more varied and may even persuade the novice Twitter user to give it a try. People like that it can be used to link to informative resources (such as blogs), that it challenges them to write concisely and to break down key messages. They also like that it is accessible and facilitates a network of individuals from diverse backgrounds, all who share an interest in academic writing. They also think that it helps to improve their other forms of academic writing.

There was also a critical discussion about the value of Twitter for academic writing. Some discussed lacking confidence in Tweeting opinions and points and felt that being accountable was important. Others discussed the challenges of negotiating and presenting identity through Tweeting. It was felt that disagreeing with people’s points was more difficult. It is much easier to agree with others through this medium, possibly limiting debate.

Finally, not included here, was a discussion about how the use of social media continues to be blamed for the poor writing styles and writing abilities of students. A summary of this discussion will be posted soon.

 

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Summary of the first #acwri live chat of 2013; Thursday 11th January
Posted by atarrant

In the first #acwri live chat of 2013 we talked about a range of things relating to academic writing. Much of the discussion was focused on making plans for the year to come in the form of New Years Resolutions, but from this, lots of interesting tips emerged in relation to how to make 2013 the most productive academic writing year yet. As well as declaring New Year’s Resolutions and plans, we discussed a range of practical tips that can help to improve writing and increase motivation, suggestions were made about how to make the most of a sabbatical and there was also a short discussion about where best to make notes for writing. A selection of the Tweets from the chat are included below:

 

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Society for Research in to Higher Education Conference 2012: Some reflections
Posted by atarrant

In a previous post for PhD2Published, I mentioned that I would be talking in a symposium at the Society for Research into Higher Education Conference 2012.

I went last Friday (14th December 2012) and really enjoyed the experience. Professor Pat Thomson started with a really interesting talk about her project with Inger Mewburn (aka The Thesis Whisperer) about analyzing blog spaces for academic purposes, followed by Dr Jeremy Segrott who presented our talk about #acwri. Andy Coverdale spoke next about the use of social media and the way in which it aids the research process for PhD students, and then I concluded the session with discussion of how PhD2Published is an empowering space (for me in particular as Managing Editor) and one outside of institutions that is transforming academic knowledge production.

We seemed to get a good response to our papers from a really engaged audience, which was encouraging and we all commented on the strangeness of meeting face-to-face having ‘known’ each other on Twitter for so long (there is proof in the slightly blurred photo in the Storify below!). The symposium was the first real opportunity to meet up directly as a group and to share our experiences and reflections on social media use as academics.

Below is a Storify of some of the Tweets from the day that we Tweeted directly from the symposium to give an idea of what the papers were about and what we discussed:

 

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Learnings from #AcWriMo Part 6: A Storify by Anna Tarrant
Posted by atarrant

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PhD2Published at the Society for Research into Higher Education Conference 2012
Posted by atarrant

Tomorrow I have the pleasure of representing PhD2Published at the Society for Research into Higher Education Conference 2012. I am taking part in a symposium organized by Professor Pat Thompson of the Patter blog called ‘Feral spaces? Social media as higher education practice: Blogs, wikis, and twitter feeds with a pedagogical intent’. Pat herself will be talking, as will Andy Coverdale, a PhD student at Nottingham Trent University, UK and Dr Jeremy Segrott, my Acwri partner in crime. In the paper I am presenting, I will talk about the online participatory culture that has been created by feral spaces such as PhD2Published and that is representative of a now well-established online academic movement that is shaping new practices of knowledge production. Being online has created feral spaces like PhD2Published that are borderless and unregulated and that bridge social differences and disciplines. I reflect on this and how this movement is transforming academic knowledge production by creating a community of ‘prosumers’ (or the wonderful academics who write blogs, or share news, knowledge and ideas via social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook). I will explore the role of PhD2Published in generating pedagogical content concerned with academic publishing from the perspectives of an expert community of academics of different career stages and will argue that PhD2Published is a unique platform that can be used by its Managing Editors (currently me) to engage in this participatory culture, with the guidance of its founder Charlotte Frost, to reskill and share expertise. I will also reflect on my own involvement with PhD2Published and the way in which it has allowed me to respond to the fast paced, ever-evolving and increasingly competitive academic environment.

I will report on the outcomes of the symposium when I return,

Anna

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Announcing AcWriMo!
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Remember AcBoWriMo, last year’s experiment in a month-long writing productivity drive? Well, it’s back, bigger and better than ever – but without the ‘Bo’!

The idea hails from NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) an initiative designed to turn the whole of November into a month-long write-fest for current or would-be novelists. The idea is that you set yourself the task of writing 50 thousand words in November alone and bingo, you’ve got yourself a whole big chunk of novel!  In 2011 I decided academics should give something similar a go and, I can happily report, it went brilliantly!

For AcBoWriMo, I invited people to join me in wearing comfy clothes, drinking a lot of coffee, napping at strange times and seeing how close we could each get to writing 50 thousand words. I admitted at the time that it was an insane target, but that it wasn’t the word count that was the point. Rather, it was a bid to gather people together for mutual support in the, at times, painfully difficult and soul-crushingly lonely task of academic writing. In the last year alone, I’ve watched with awe and excitement as so many academic communities have grown and expanded on social media platforms like Twitter (examples include #phdchat, #ecrbook, #digped, #fycchat with plenty more to be found here). Not to mention that our own AcBoWriMo off-shoot (and collaboration with Jeremy Segrott), the regular live Twitter chat on academic writing, #AcWri, has co-ordinated a huge amount of valuable discussion. Nice work Anna and Jeremy!

So I decided it was worth giving it all another go – with some revisions…

This year’s event will focus on ALL aspects of academic writing, and will encourage participants to set their own (wild) goals. As a result of that, and the strength of the AcWri community, it will be called AcWriMo. Just like Craig David, I copped some flack for the ‘Bo!’ part. Although I never intended to promote the idea that an entire academic book could be written in a month, by calling the event Academic Book Writing Month, it seems I over-emphasised that part. But we still want you to join in on setting yourself some unrealistic targets and fighting alongside us to achieve them.

So, here are the rules for #AcWriMo 2012

1. Set yourself some crazy goals. Try and come up with some outcomes that would really push you beyond anything you ever thought possible. I always said 50,000 words is a bit of a nutty goal for academic writing in one month (it works out at something like 2,500 words a day and that’s just bonkers) but if you’re bonkers, go ahead and set that target. Otherwise, think about how much you are comfortably able to write a day and set yourself the task of regularly exceeding that amount. If you can manage 300 words a day then we want 400, if you can do 1000, then we want 1500 – something like that. Last year, a lot of people preferred setting themselves a time-based goal. They would try to write for so many hours a day or week and often used the Pomodoro technique to count units of productive time. If that’s your thing, go for it! How about sneaking in an extra Pomodoro a day? Or, look at all the writing tasks you’ve got to achieve over the next few months and decide to get a set amount of them done in November. In the US it’s job season, so how about you count your job-letter-writing-time. Or article drafts maybe?

2. Publicly declare your participation and goals. You can do this by adding to the comments of this very blog post, by tweeting using the hashtag #AcWriMo, or by writing on our PhD2Published Facebook page. Being accountable is key to this working for you as a way to push yourself, but if you want to silently take part, at least tell a friend who is likely to hold you to it. [edit: you can now also add your goals to and keep track of your progress with Jenn's AcWriMo Accountability Spreadsheet - thanks Jenn!]

3. Draft a strategy. This is essential if you’re going to make a success of this. Sitting down to write without preparation is the first step towards being struck down with writer’s block. We’ll be blogging and tweeting lots of ideas to help you, so before you start, work out a strategy for how you’ll tackle your set tasks. For example, establish how much you’ll need to write a day, and on which days you can definitely do this. Offload as much other work as you can, and get in some supplies (we recommend stocking up on decent coffee of course). Think about how you work best and adopt that approach from the start – this means planning everything from comfy clothes to reading sessions.

4. Discuss what you’re doing. OK so being on Twitter and Facebook with us all day isn’t acceptable – you’ve got work to do – but checking-in at certain times is imperative! We want to know how you’re getting on? What is working for you and what isn’t? We want you to tell us all if you need help with something but also to celebrate your successes with us too. And nothing is TMI when it’s AcWriMo because that’s the point: sharing!

5. Don’t slack off. As participant Bettina said of AcBoWriMo, you must ‘write like there’s no December!’ But guess what? If you work super hard now, there’s going to be more December to go round. Remember how December usually creeps up on you and suddenly its Christmas Eve and you’ve failed to buy gifts or take time out for yourself. Well, if you put the work in now, there’ll be so much December you won’t know what to do with it all!

6. Publicly declare your results – and please be honest! As a writing community, we’ll all benefit from sharing in your achievements, but it is also good to see what works and what doesn’t. And if you don’t make your targets, you’ll still be achieving the selfless goal of making the rest of us feel more normal – so it’s a community win/win really.

We’re raring to go, we hope you are too?! :-)

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Sending a journal article for peer review – what not to send, by Anna Tarrant
Posted by atarrant

Running the peer review gauntlet (from GenomicEnterprise.com)

I have learnt a lot about academic publishing in the past year, particularly about publishing journal articles. This is partly because I have been writing up my PhD thesis into journal articles and in part because of my work for PhD2Published as Managing Editor. In todays post I share some of my recent experiences of peer reviewing to provide advice about what not to send to reviewers.

In the past four months I have gained experience of peer reviewing journal articles. I have reviewed 3 in total; two I was asked to do by a known colleague and mentor who also happens to be a journal editor, and one came out of the blue but related well to my research interests (suggesting I am getting known for my research interests –yay!). I have found peer reviewing a really interesting and fruitful experience. Seeing less than perfect academic writing has been a real eye-opener and has given me a new, more confident perspective on my own writing.

Today’s post is based on my experience of peer reviewing one of these journal articles. Of the three I have reviewed, I have awarded two ‘major revisions’ and one I actually rejected. I found it very difficult to reject the article because as an early career researcher sending out my own work for review, I know how nerve-wracking it can be to put your writing out there. I also thought that the paper had real potential but unfortunately the more I read, the more disappointing it became. I was very careful to give constructive feedback and to fully explain my decision so as not to discourage the author or to offend them. As it turned out, it appeared my decision was justified. The other two reviewers also rejected the paper (which shows I know what I’m doing. Double yay! ;)).

If I’m being honest, I was quite surprised that the paper was sent for review in the state it is was in. Perhaps the looming REF meant it was sent under pressure, or perhaps the author just wanted some feedback at an earlier stage? Perhaps there is a genuine issue in academia that not all of us know how to write a strong first draft of a journal article, an issue that PhD2Published at least has tried to remedy (e.g. Inger Mewburn’s series on Writing Journal Articles). Either way, there were some significant problems identified by all three reviewers. And having gained this insight, I wanted to write this post to share some of these significant issues (without revealing the author of course) so that others who are new to publishing journal articles or asking for early feedback know what to avoid. While some of these examples may seem far-fetched, they are based on my experience. There are other things to be aware of, of course, but for me, these are key and are what I look out for when reviewing.

So here are my tips about what not to send if you want to be accepted:

  1. If your paper is based on empirical findings don’t send a paper that doesn’t explain what methods were conducted, who the sample was or how the data was analysed. The readers need to know that your findings and conclusions are based on a well-designed research project.
  2. Don’t make grand claims that cannot be substantiated with evidence from data or literature. Your points and claims need to be believable and convince the readers that your arguments are well-grounded throughout.
  3. Don’t write a conclusion that does not explicitly state the take-away point from your article. Likewise don’t send a paper that does not explicitly state its aim and purpose in the introduction. Tell the reader what you are going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you told them.
  4. Avoid making assumptions about the prior knowledge of the readers, particularly if you discuss an event or situation that is only well known in your own context. Make use of foot or endnotes for explaining things that aren’t pertinent to the text but need explanation.
  5. Avoid over-using jargon and complex academic language that you haven’t explained or referenced, especially if this affects the clarity of the paper.

And here’s a bonus tip from a review of one of my own papers:

Don’t send a paper that hasn’t been edited thoroughly before submission. Irritating grammar errors annoy reviewers and may detract from the quality of your paper.

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#acwri live chat summary. Using Twitter for academic writing. Thursday 20th September 2012
Posted by atarrant

This week the #Acwri live chat was all about using Twitter for Academic Writing. This chat was well attended and lively and encouraged a lot of discussion. A written summary of the chat can be read in todays post but if you would like to read the chat in full, which includes the key Tweets from the discussion, you can view them on Storify.

The conversation started with some reflection on why academics are using Twitter. Responses ranged from finding relevant communities of practice, keeping in touch with people efficiently and quickly, keeping networks alive, reaching a bigger audience, making connections across space and between groups, to be social, to find out about things and stay up to date, to share #acwri outputs, and to be at the intersection of multi-disciplinary conversations relevant to individual work. These responses indicate the diversity of reasons for using Twitter as an academic.

Others also consider it good for practicing concise writing (in only 140 characters), setting goals and asking questions. One user even argued that they use Twitter as a way of keeping notes (@strictlykaren).  This led to some discussion about using Twitter to link to other content, such as blogs, where discussion can continue elsewhere.

A significant thread of conversation in the early stages of the chat was that many enjoy live Tweeting from conferences, but also have some concerns about it. People question when it is appropriate to do it and how often, during a talk for fear of taking over Twitter feeds.

Challenges with Twitter writing were also explored. Errors in spelling and grammar were commonly discussed. One Tweeter felt that tweets were less coherent and bitty, rather than an argument (@spani3l). Some did not like when people swear and rant, and others dislike when individuals write lots of Tweets one after the other. @helen_kara responded to this well saying “Don’t drink (much) & Tweet”. This led to a conversation about how Twitter is used. Many use it semi-professionally or professionally. Consequently developing an academic identity on Twitter is important. Many are aware of the public nature of Twitter content and therefore the need for appropriate conduct. There was a difference in opinion about using Twitter only for professional discussion and sometimes for including more casual talk. An interesting distinction was made between the use of Twitter for work and Facebook for personal interaction.

The conversation ended with some discussion of the use of G+ (Google Plus) rather than Twitter for academic writing and communication. Conversation was described as much more natural and substantial on G+, despite the fact that less academics are currently using it than Twitter. There is some resistance to being on another social network but @spani3l likes the fact that it can be used for multiple tasks such as video conferencing and having more sustained conversations.

What are your opinions on using Twitter for academic writing? Does anyone have any experience of G+?

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Vote for this week’s #acwri topic here
Posted by atarrant

Do you have a Twitter account? Are you interested in all things academic writing? Have you got any questions or concerns about your academic writing that you want some advice about? If any, or all of these questions apply to you why not take a look at the #acwri hashtag on Twitter? Making great use of the tag is a burgeoning community of writers all discussing their writing goals and ambitions, trails and tribulations. You can get great advice from individuals at all career stages about academic writing and really benefit from sharing your own experiences. To find out more about the #acwri initiative take a look at our Live Chat page.

As part of #acwri we also run a fortnightly live chat and the next one is taking place on Twitter this Thursday, 20th September, at 8pm UK time. Please do come along and take part. We like to ensure that the #acwri community has some say in what we discuss and you can now vote for your preferred topic in the Tweet Poll below. The topic that receives the most votes will be the one we discuss on Thursday.

If you can’t make it to the chat don’t despair! We also write a summary of each chat that is posted to this site so you can still benefit from the collective learning. You can check out previous chats now in the Live Chat tab Archive.

Hope to see/meet you soon!


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#acwri Twitter chat. Writing with others. Thursday 6th September 2012
Posted by atarrant

This week the #Acwri live chat was all about Writing with others. Contributors to the discussions had a varied amount of experience, sharing tips, asking questions and exploring the challenges of this kind of writing. A written summary of the chat can be read in todays post but if you would like to read the chat in full, which includes the key Tweets from the discussion, you can view them on Storify.

Discussions initially focused on the advantages and disadvantages of writing with others. Advantages included the quicker speed at which writing with others could result in a final draft; the fun and stimulating nature of writing with others; bringing different perspectives to the table; developing greater understanding of topics through learning from co-authors; getting the opportunity to see others write; boosting confidence; sharing the agony of getting first words in the page and developing good academic practice showing you can work as both a leader and a team worker.

Discussion of possible disadvantages and difficulties that emerged included letting go of possessiveness over ideas; ensuring the project is suited to multiple authorship; negotiating different writing styles; working with tardy authors or those unaware of deadlines.

These kinds of discussions led to tips abut what makes for a good process for writing with others and what makes for a good co-author relationship. In terms of valuing a co-author, traits including consideration of each others’ strengths and interests; writing with others equally committed to a project and compromising were all respected.

Good processes for writing with others included initial planning of who would be involved and what would be discussed in the project; considering the author order; deciding on the role of each author before starting and deciding on process. Many felt that assigning lead authors, editors and those giving feedback was important to the organization of collaborative piece.

We discussed differences between physically writing together and working across distance. Many felt that working together in projects in the same physical space was very helpful. Anyone working with more than 2 co-authors felt this raised its own challenges and is not always desirable.

Finally it was felt that co-authorship was only achieved if both authors did more than peer review the piece and finding a voice for a piece was deemed important for developing a coherent writing style throughout. Creating a voice was considered to be the role of the first author.

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#acwri Live chat Open Topic: 16.08.12
Posted by atarrant

Our latest #acwri live chat on Twitter was open topic so we didn’t have any pre-set topic choices. Both me and Jeremy chaired this chat. With our now well established community this resulted in a heady mix of discussion focusing on a variety of academic writing related topics. These have been summarised as always on Storify by Jeremy and you can read it below. The aim is too provide some really helpful tips, to encourage thinking about academic writing and kick start thinking about the one of the key foundations of academic life/work; writing.

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#Acwri Twitter chat, 2nd August 2012: editing and revising
Posted by atarrant

The latest Twitter chat was chaired by Jeremy and was all about editing and revising academic writing. This followed the first #acwri live chat held in Australia/South Pacific time as well, chaired by Studious Jenn. You can find out about the live chats as well the  new one at our About page. Editing and revising was voted as the preferred topic by the #acwri community on Twitter. The summary and key points form the UK time chat are documented below:

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Vote for the topic for the next #acwri live chat!
Posted by atarrant

The next #acwri live chat will take place on Twitter next Thursday 2nd August at 7pm GMT and you can have an influence on what we discuss. All you have to do is register your vote here and we will announce the preferred topic at 6pm on the evening of the chat. We want to ensure that the #acwri community has the opportunity to influence the discussions as much as possible to make sure that it is as useful for everyone as possible. So please do make a choice and if you have any other ideas, leave them in the comments on the site and we will take them on board and include them in future polls.


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