The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving edition: I’m still in shock that we are First Drafts Quotealready in the middle (now almost the end) of November. The Thanksgiving holiday is already next week, which means time to reflect on all the things we are thankful for this past year. Maybe you are thankful to have completed your dissertation, maybe your journal article got published, maybe you got your first post-doc position or gained tenure, maybe your textbook got published, or maybe you made progress on a writing project. [Read more…]

How to manage multiple journal submissions

Q: “I probably will have to submit my article to several journals before it is accepted. Each of the ones I am likely to send it to has a different style for footnotes and references. How do I make revisions efficiently and not spend undue hours with trivia?”

A: Richard Hull, Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, SUNY at Buffalo:

“There are excellent reference management software programs available. You type your references in once; subsequent revisions are often possible by simply giving the periodical’s name, or by providing a simple template that will, for example, cause first and middle names to be replaced by initials (followed or not followed by periods), journal volume numbers to be preceded or not preceded by “vol.”, the year of the publication to be placed just after the author’s name or after the volume number (surrounded or nor surrounded by parentheses), and so forth. End Note and Reference Manager are two common ones, and they are sometimes freely provided to faculty by their educational institution’s Instructional Technology centers.”

Your dissertation as a journal article: Where do you submit it?

Tips of the Trade ImageQ: “I have an idea for an article based on my dissertation, but I don’t know where to send it. How can I make a reasonable choice?”

A: Tara Gray, presenter of the Publish & Flourish: Become A Prolific Author workshop, sponsored by TAA:

“Ask your colleagues and consider the journals in your own bibliography. Then, query the journal editor by asking him or her if your manuscript fits their understanding of the journal’s mission.”

A: Kären Hess, the author or co-author of more than 30 trade books and college-level textbooks on a variety of topics including financial planning, dental marketing, art, literature, engineering, hospice care, reading, management and report writing:

“Ask your dissertation committee. Do a search of your topic and see what journals come up.”

A: Michael Lennie, Authoring Attorney and Literary Agent, Lennie Literary and Authors’ Attorneys:

“Ask your advisor; or research similar articles to determine their publisher and editor. Obtain several and then contact them to see if they have an interest. The original contact should be by way of a query letter (one well written page) with or without synopsis, sent through snail mail with a SASE.”

A: Richard Hull. TAA Executive Director:

“First, consult with your dissertation adviser or other members of your committee. Second, consider the journals whose articles you cited most frequently in the article you propose. Third, do a literature search for the key words of your proposed article, and find where the most frequent citations occur. The other factor is the nature of what you propose to write. Is it an original article that diverts from standard positions taken in literature on your issue? Is it chiefly critical of others’ work? Is it short: a discussion note, focusing on a single experiment or argument? Different journals have different types of articles, so getting familiar with your field’s publications is the best way of fitting yourself into an appropriate niche.”

Make journal revisions efficiently to get published faster

Tips of the Trade ImageQ: “I probably will have to submit my article to several journals before it is accepted. Each of the ones I am likely to send it to has a different style for footnotes and references. How do I make revisions efficiently and not spend undue hours with trivia?”

A: Richard Hull, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy:

“There are excellent reference management software programs available. You type your references in once; subsequent revisions are often possible by simply giving the periodical’s name, or by providing a simple template that will, for example, cause first and middle names to be replaced by initials (followed or not followed by periods), journal volume numbers to be preceded or not preceded by “vol.”, the year of the publication to be placed just after the author’s name or after the volume number (surrounded or nor surrounded by parentheses), and so forth. End Note and Reference Manager are two common ones, and they are sometimes freely provided to faculty by their educational institution’s Instructional Technology centers.”

Is it possible to avoid journal rejections based on the editor’s plans for coming issues?

Tips of the Trade ImageQ: “How do I avoid journal rejections based on the editor’s plans for coming issues?”

A: Kären Hess, the author or co-author of more than 30 trade books and college-level textbooks on a variety of topics including financial planning, dental marketing, art, literature, engineering, hospice care, reading, management and report writing:

“Many journals publish the years’ article focus month by month.”

A: Michael Lennie, Authoring Attorney and Literary Agent, Lennie Literary and Authors’ Attorneys:

“Not to be flippant, but likely you don’t. Yours would need to be a particularly time sensitive article to bump others already accepted, or to cause an editor to alter the theme or plan for an upcoming issue. The best you can do is either accept being placed in the queue, or contact several possible journals before submitting to find out informally the likely wait for publication. (Of course, you want to avoid appearing overly aggressive.)”