Journal impact factors: To cite, or not to cite?

At a brainstorming session on academic publishing at TAA’s June 2012 conference, a participant asked how to determine the most prestigious journals in which to try to publish. The panel’s advice: study the journal impact factors.

An impact factor is widely regarded as a measure of the journal’s importance in the particular disciplines which it serves. A journal’s impact factor is a measure of the average frequency with which articles in a given journal’s publication year are cited in that and other journals during the subsequent two years. The rationale is, roughly, that the citation rate of articles in a given journal, compared with the rate of “competing” journals, gives a metrical measure of that journal’s perceived importance in the discipline. Seems simple enough, but perhaps not.

Think of yourself as a writer

Authors need to understand the process by which their manuscript will be evaluated and take that into account when they submit. If a smart recent college graduate can’t decode what your book is about, you’re in trouble.

When I graduated from college I hoped to land a job working on a dude ranch in Wyoming. Instead, I fell into a career in scholarly publishing, acquiring books for Oxford University Presses. I realize now that as an editor I didn’t pay nearly enough attention to the prose. I cared more about the ideas than about how well they were expressed, at least that’s what I told myself. It wasn’t true.

Featured Members June Parsons and Dan Oja – Digital textbooks and pedagogy

Digital book pioneers June Parsons and Dan Oja co-developed the first commercially successful multimedia, interactive digital textbook; one that set the bar for platforms now being developed by educational publishers.

The coauthors began writing and creating educational software for Course Technology in 1992 and between them have authored more than 150 college computer textbooks. They currently have several digital textbooks in print, including the best-selling New Perspectives on Computer Concepts.:

Stretch, reach and fall back: Targeting your submission to the journal

Deciding where to submit your journal article can be a daunting task. Not all journals are created equal. Journals differ in content and, of course, in the more elusive, status within the discipline. What I will write about here is how to select and refine your submission based on the journal’s status within your discipline. Two strategies can smooth out the submission process. The first strategy illustrates one way to decide on the journal in which you want to publish. The second strategy is how to analyze the articles within that selected journal to focus your writing to that audience.

Textbook writing advice for new authors


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Featured Member Jason Wrench – Insights on working with multiple publishers


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