Should you publish your dissertation as a journal article or an academic book?

Textbook PublishingOnce the dissertation is accepted, the question of whether to publish journal articles or an academic book is one that faces many new Ph.Ds aiming for faculty positions. When weighing these options, consider what is standard in your discipline, as some fields reward books while others reward journal articles. Your dissertation committee and director are excellent sources of advice on this question.

For most academic jobs where publications count, the stature of the publisher is crucial to the impact your publication will have on your career. Publishing with a university press known for its important titles in your field, will provide a superior impact. But a press that required a subvention on your part would be less valued. [Read more…]

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

At a brainstorming session on academic publishing at energy trapsTAA’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. [Read more…]