I’ll be blunt: my publication record is seriously so-so.That’s OK for now… after all, I work at a teaching-intensive college and get involved deeply in campus service and some administrative stuff. Those are my primary emphases, and I love that work. But I enjoy finishing a research project, especially when I’m proud of the final product. I’ve had some success getting book chapters and conference proceedings submissions published, but I’d love to get some more stuff in peer-reviewed journals. Sure it’s nerdy, but closing the deal on a publication always makes me feel like I’m Daniel LaRusso polishing off Johnny the Cobra Kai with a sweet crane kick.
There are a couple of projects that are nearly there, including one that, in a former life, experienced some serial rejection. That was a bummer. So as my summer school commitments wrap up next week, I’m planning on devoting a chunk of my summer — as are many of my fellow travelers, I suspect — to nail down a couple of writing projects and submit for publication. It’s officially summer starting today — for academics that are primarily teachers from September to May, ’tis the season!
So this blog post from Kirsten Bell, a journal editor at the University of British Columbia, published in Vitae from the Chronicle, is well-timed — and it has some sound advice. So let’s get cracking, summer scholars — after all, we’re the best around!
Research Associate at University of British Columbia
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Anyone who has ever submitted a manuscript to an academic journal will likely have had some opportunity to reflect on the capricious nature of the peer-review process. Attempting to publish is, at best, a frustrating experience. At worst, it seems that banging one’s head against a brick wall would be more fun.
But let’s step aside from what’s wrong with academic publishing, important though that may be. Junior scholars need to get published, and they need to consider—pragmatically—how to go about doing that within the current system.
So is this the article where the illustrious academic at the end of a long career generously imparts her pearls of wisdom, Mr. Miyagi-style, on a new generation of academics? No. But I have experienced the publication process from a variety of perspectives: as an author, a reviewer, and an editor. Especially in the last role, I can’t help but notice that there are several errors I see again and again—the sort of things that make me shake my head (and bang it against my desk on occasion). So with this in mind, I provide some tips on getting journal articles published. As promised, they are obvious—really obvious—which is why it’s a little surprising that I see them ignored so frequently.