The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: July 20, 2018
This week’s collection of articles from around the web begins with a couple perspectives on how to prepare for successful submission of journal articles. We then explore ways to develop an author platform, how to communicate with a supervisor, and some academic taboos. Finally, we look at why the Academy hasn’t taken control of publishing and a novel approach to self-publishing a journal article.
Whatever you are working on this week, let it flow and give it the chance to be great. As William Faulkner once said, “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.” Happy writing!
Publication of academic articles in peer-reviewed journals is a huge step towards the advancement of students’ academic progress. Another benefit is that it helps to move up the career ladder by obtaining necessary skills and competencies. Moreover, working on scientific articles enables you to get expertise in your major or in a specific research field. If you wonder how to provide an effective and successful article for submission in a scholarly journal, get familiar with the following tips.
Dr Deluded writes a lot and submits to journals. In fact, he is so keen to get his work out into the world that he sends his manuscripts off as soon as he is finished with them. But he is consistently bothered and bewildered by the number that are desk rejected. He is convinced that Editors are out to get him. Dr Deluded is making a few key mistakes which are contributing to his continued lack of publication success. Here’s five of the most important.
What is an “author platform”? A year ago I had no idea. The phrase is defined by Jane Friedman — co-founder of “The Hot Sheet,” a newsletter on the publishing industry, and “Electric Speed,” an e-newsletter for writers that I read carefully — as “an ability to sell books because of who you are and who you can reach.”
When we write a letter, we are playing a role. Think about a letter you would write to a friend while you are on holiday vs a letter you would write to a politician, complaining about Australia’s refugee policy. Want to sound happy and affectionate to your friend and angry and persuasive to the politician. You are a different person when you write each letter.
A combination of the increasing casualisation of academia, the increasing accessibility of academic work through open access publishing, and the public engagement agenda, is creating an environment where institutional boundaries are more and more permeable. This is creating a problem. Salaried academics are expecting non-salaried people contributing to scholarly work to be content with the academic currency of favours. However, non-salaried people tend to prefer the real-world currency of money, as it’s much more use when you need to eat and pay bills.
In recent years there has been a growing clamor for the academy to take back control of scholarly publishing. The academy has been poorly served by the large commercial publishers, this argument goes, whose interests are narrowly economic and fail to address the mission of the research community. Often this argument takes on a distinct anti-capitalist flavor, as though the place to start world revolution is not with the industries with real power (energy, telecommunications, defense) but with the tiny business of publishing, which facilitates the communications of a small group of people with one another. It’s possible, though, to sidestep the question of whether Wiley, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, and their ilk have performed well or poorly as far as the interests of the academy are concerned and ask a different one: Whatever the merits of Elsevier, ProQuest, EBSCO, et al., what’s stopping academic institutions from taking charge once again?
Allyson Mower (Head of Scholarly Communication and Copyright in the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library) recently wrote an article on the history of the University of Utah, demonstrating that some of the commonly-held assumptions about its origins weren’t exactly correct. She submitted it to several journals that deal with Western US history and Mormon history, but all of them turned her down — interestingly, without telling her what was wrong with her research (beyond one of the editors simply saying “one of my colleagues says you’re wrong”). But what’s more interesting is the way she has decided to disseminate her article: instead of turning it into a blog posting or just putting it in the library’s institutional repository, she created a website where she has posted a summary of the paper and invited readers to request a copy.