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Publishing your PhD as a book or journal articles

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Publishing your PhD as
journal articles
Authoring a PhD and Developing as a
Researcher: the Endgame
10 November 2009
Gita Subrahmanyam
In today’s workshop we will …
• Consider publishing journal articles: why
and how
• Hear from the experts: academic journal
editors
• Look at the work you’ve brought along
and support each other in developing
effective abstracts and strategies
Why publish in journals?
•
•
•
•
To publicise your research results
Journals are a depository of knowledge
They indicate the state of the discipline
The publication process includes vetting
and peer review
• To develop a publications profile … to
get jobs!
Where to publish
2 basic types of journal
 OMNIBUS or GENERAL JOURNAL
covers whole discipline; often run by professional
body; hence wider print readership within one
country; strong competition to get in; often topranked journal in country + field; good for citations
if paper is spotted
 SPECIALIST JOURNAL
focuses on one sub-field; often commercially
produced; small print readership; more intense
readers with citation circle features; medium
citations for successful papers; sometimes hidden
cultural/ ideological barriers or editorial processes
Where to publish (2)
• There is a hierarchy of journals within each
discipline
• A journal’s position in the hierarchy depends
on a number of factors
–
–
–
–
Refereeing systems (top is �double blind’)
Citation scores
Circulation and journal types
Received wisdom (ask people in discipline)
• Aim high but be realistic – and make sure you
do your research on the journal prior to
submitting an article
Targeting specific journals
• What kinds of articles does the journal publish?
Make sure your article �fits the bill’
• What are the submission guidelines, formatting
instructions and other procedures? Most editors will
not consider articles that do not follow the criteria
• Read editors’ reports to discover the �turnaround
time’ from receipt to review to decision, acceptance
rates and other relevant information
• You may want to assess your chances of getting
accepted against the time it takes to get a decision
Group exercise 1
Working in groups of two, discuss:
• The choice of journal – has the author
chosen the correct journal for his/her
article?
• Risk assessment - what is the journal’s
ranking? What is the turnaround time?
What are the author’s chances of
getting the article accepted?
The publication process
• You submit your paper to one (and only one) journal
at a time (submission details listed in the journal)
• An editor will seek advice from 1 – 3 referees
– or reject your submission outright
• Referees write a report for you (the author) and a
confidential letter to the editor
• Editor decides to accept, reject, or return your paper
for revision (acceptance rates 5 – 20 %)
• If rejected, take comments to heart and send your
paper to another journal
• Whole process takes several months … or longer
What gets published?
Key qualities of a publishable article:
• Originality – new knowledge or
theoretical development
• Scholarship and accuracy
• Good quality writing
• Interest and importance
Structuring a good article
• Aim for c.8000 words (check rules of
journal)
• Five sections or fewer
• Deliver one key message: don’t overcomplicate
• Front-load the argument and key
message (don’t keep readers guessing)
Getting articles out of your thesis
• Present findings you plan to publish at
seminars/conferences for feedback
• A thesis chapter will need (substantial)
re-working to be able to stand alone as
a coherent article
• Target the �right’ journal: what journals
do you read and admire; get advice
supervisor and other academics on
what level to pitch at
Journal editor’s perspective
• Professor Simon Hix, co-editor
European Union Politics
The importance of the abstract
• Key point of sale’ for all Internet readers
– most won’t have Library access
– time window = 1 minute (if they’re already keen
from the title alone)
• Abstract and title should form close
correspondence
• Both should contain:
– keywords that appear in internet searches
– clear and comprehensive information about what
is being covered
– subject, methodology and/or geographic region(s)
ABSTRACT SEQUENCE FOR A MORE
TECHNICAL JOURNAL ARTICLE
•
•
•
•
•
MOTIVATION
FOCUS/SCOPE/
RESEARCH
PROBLEM
METHODS
FINDINGS/DATA/
EVIDENCE/
ANALYSIS
BOTTOM LINE
CONCLUSION
and
IMPLICATIONS
ABSTRACT SEQUENCE FOR A MORE
TECHNICAL JOURNAL ARTICLE
•
•
•
•
•
MOTIVATION
FOCUS/SCOPE/
RESEARCH
PROBLEM
METHODS
FINDINGS/DATA/
EVIDENCE/
ANALYSIS
BOTTOM LINE
CONCLUSION
and
IMPLICATIONS
ATTRACTOR,
MICRO SALES PITCH
- Why should the reader
bother to read the article?
- Mini-origins – why I was
interested in the topic?
(If you’re not, no one
else will be)
- Why is the article
interesting or important?
ABSTRACT SEQUENCE FOR A MORE
TECHNICAL JOURNAL ARTICLE
•
•
•
•
•
MOTIVATION
FOCUS/SCOPE/
RESEARCH
PROBLEM
METHODS
FINDINGS/DATA/
EVIDENCE/
ANALYSIS
BOTTOM LINE
CONCLUSION
and
IMPLICATIONS
“NEED TO KNOW”
CRITERION
- Given the type of
journal and its
professional audience,
- what do potential
readers really need to
know?
ABSTRACT SEQUENCE FOR A MORE
TECHNICAL JOURNAL ARTICLE
•
•
•
•
•
MOTIVATION
FOCUS/SCOPE/
RESEARCH
PROBLEM
METHODS
FINDINGS/DATA/
EVIDENCE/
ANALYSIS
BOTTOM LINE
CONCLUSION
and
IMPLICATIONS
RESIDUE PITCH
(�Take-away’ message)
- Why should I remember
this article or message?
- Should I copy the article or
incorporate it into my work?
- Why should I cite it?
(maybe without reading it
any further)
- Should I put the article on
my course reading list?
ABSTRACT SEQUENCE FOR A MORE
DISCURSIVE/ THEMATIC ARTICLE
•
•
•
•
FRAME, MOTIVATION – 1 or 2 sentences
BODY – one sentence each for 3, 4 or 5
substantive sections of the paper (Never have
more than 5 sections – over-signposting for
standard 8,000 word paper)
OVERALL KEY FINDING – one sentence
IMPLICATIONS – one sentence
Group exercise 2
Working in groups of two, discuss:
• Do the title and abstract match up?
• Your abstracts – does it follow our
template? Does it match with the
proposed structure?
• Outline – does the outline structure
follow the abstract in a logical or
chronological way?
ABSTRACT SEQUENCE
FOR A MORE
TECHNICAL JOURNAL
ARTICLE
•
•
•
•
•
MOTIVATION – mini
sales pitch 1 or 2
sentences
FOCUS/SCOPE/
RESEARCH PROBLEM
– focus on what readers
need to know
METHODS
FINDINGS/DATA/
EVIDENCE/
ANALYSIS
BOTTOM LINE
CONCLUSION +
IMPLICATIONS
ABSTRACT SEQUENCE
FOR A MORE
DISCURSIVE/
THEMATIC ARTICLE
•
•
•
•
FRAME, MOTIVATION
– 1 or 2 sentences
BODY – one sentence
each for 3, 4 or 5
substantive sections of
the paper (Never more
than 5 sections)
KEY FINDING – one
sentence
IMPLICATIONS – one
sentence
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