Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Websites and Social Media to support Academic Writing and Publishing - some useful resources

Guest post by Edel King, Maynooth University Librar @edelk

Thinking about submitting an article to an academic journal but finding the process daunting? 
I have trawled through what is out there to support people writing for academic publication and came up with a list of the best (in my opinion). I was looking for resources that gave advice, support and guidance on all different aspects of the process – from the idea, to writing, to actually getting published.
If you want to make suggestions for additions to this list, please e-mail me.

This piece, written by Nat Copsey, Professor of Politics at Aston University in Birmingham, offers tips on publishing journal articles. While it relates to the UK, the advice is likely to be useful regardless of your location. His main focus is how on how publishing will help your academic career. Publishing in peer-reviewed journals is generally vital for career progression regardless of your location.
Copsey stresses the need to identify the right journal for your article and suggests there are benefits to collaborative writing especially in terms of support and encouragement. I found it a very encouraging article. It suggests the academic writer should aim high – to help you here, contact your librarian, who will be able to advise on journal impact factor. It also states that it is not necessary to make all of the peer reviewers suggested amendments, if you feel strongly that they shouldn’t be made (but do give your reasons in your reply to the editor) and most importantly, he urges the writers not to give up, no matter how often you are rejected.

In contrast to Copsey’s article, which focuses on process, I found this article much more person focused. The feelings involved in collaboration, criticism and waiting for feedback are all discussed. 
The piece gives good advice on collaboration in particular, including issues around authorship. It stresses the differences between writing for college or university (essays and theses) and writing for academic publication, which I think, can be useful for first time authors at the start of their careers.  
While other articles mentioned in this blog post might come across as warm and supportive, that is not the case here. It doesn't sugar coat anything and tells the reader that if they want to publish to just get on with it. It strongly encourages confidence on the part of the potential author. 

Written by Leah Fargotstein, a Social Science Journals Editor at SAGE, this blog post gives practical advice on the actual process of writing for academic publication.  This includes topics such as how to make your article stand out from the crowd. Again, it is aimed at the first time author, new to the process and to the academic world in general.  What I really liked about this piece is that it is based on questions that Fargotstein has actually been asked. Thus, it is all practical and extremely useful information. It explains the processes involved in submitting for publication and details things you should never do such as never send your full article to the editor outside of the submission process.
Twitter – @LFargotstein

Written by an editor from SAGE this  poster offers a step-by-step guide to the process of writing and publishing in an academic journal. It includes useful checklists and bullet points. It deals with rejection and how to cope with that as well as the opposite - what happens once your paper has been accepted? It outlines all of the do's and don’ts at various parts of the process.  

Written by Hugh McLaughlin, Professor of Social Work at Manchester Metropolitan University and Editor–in-Chief of Social Work Education: the InternationalJournal, I found this article quite wordy. There are no easy to follow bullet points or headings. Once you get to the kernel of what is said however, I did find it supportive. I really liked the fact that it covered the different types of journal articles such as articles based on research, theoretical or conceptual pieces, a case study or even a reflective piece based on your practical or academic experience.

Professor Rowena Murray, Professor in Education and Director of Research at the University of the West of Scotland, is the author of this useful and supportive piece.  Collaboration is one of the topics covered.
It is a thought-provoking piece in that it asks many questions of the reader, in order to make them think deeply and engage with their subject.  It stresses the necessity for preparation and writing from a research base. In addition, it covers personal well-being during the process. It is well rounded in this regard. Murray is the author of a number of well-known titles on academic writing including  Writing in social spaces: a social processes approach to academic writing.
Twitter – @murray_rowena

Written by Bert Blocken, Professor in the Department of the Built Environment at Eindhoven University of Technology, I found this piece particularly clever and noteworthy as it is backwards. Instead of giving tips on how to write a good article and how to get published, it gives tips on how to write a journal article that would never be published. This provides humour through the learning as you just reverse his tips for good advice.  
It is very easy to read with a list of all the topics covered at the start and takes a very realistic approach to writing and submitting. It comes heavy with research advice and advice on writing the article itself. 
Twitter – @BertBlocken

This resource provides a one-stop shop for all kinds of articles on various parts of the process of writing and submitting.  
Twitter - @Write4Research
Twitter list - Serious Writing Advice

Other Useful Twitter Accounts
@researchwhisper is another Twitter resource on all aspects of the process that I found especially useful.

Pat Thomson, Professor in Education, Arts and Writing Research at University of Nottingham, has a useful Twitter page on all aspects of the writing process.


Really useful information about writing, bibliometrics, altmetrics and much more.

Edel Kingedel.king@mu.ie
12th June 2018

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