Writing for Academic Publication

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  • Read – learn a lot from looking closely at what works for others. Could model articles on other articles that work well. The kinds of stories that you want to tell about your work will have similarities in form, if not in content, to others that are already in print. Learn to analyse articles that you consider to be clear and well written, working out how it is constructed, and what it is about its structure that is helpful in conveying its meaning. Can use structure from another article as a template. (basic underlying structure/won’t be an exact match) - storyboard conceptNumber of different structures that could achieve the same ends in different ways.The structure of a thesis or conference paper will not be the same as the structure for a journal articleIn planning structure need to considerThe needs of your audience. Be aware that they do not know what you want to tell them; that is why you are writing, and why they are reading what you have written.Sometimes writers are so close to their subject matter that they write as if they expect their readers are already familiar with their ideas.
  • Headings & subheadings break up text and make a manuscript visually more attractive. They allow the reader to see at a glance the themes and structure of the paper. It is helpful to have at least one heading per page, however the best guide is your target journalSentence Length – writing in short sentences is easier. Gradually, as you become more confident, you could develop a more flowing style – using a range of sentence length and punctuation.Punctuation and paragraphingButcher (2002)Have at least three sentences and be no longer than a page (generally)New paragraph should indication a chance of direction in your thinking, or a new idea. Ideally, new paragraphs begin each time you move from one clear idea to another. Each paragraph should have one major theme or idea. The first sentence usually carries the idea in any paragraph. Paragraphs should have a logical sequence, each new one advancing ideas in previous paragraphs. .
  • Writing for Academic Publication

    1. 1. Writing for Academic Publication<br />Helen Fallon NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    2. 2. Presentation Overview<br /><ul><li>Section 1: Getting Started (Writing to prompt, writing to a word limit, brainstorming/clustering/mapping
    3. 3. Section 2: Defining audience and purpose, outlining
    4. 4. Section 3: Identifying publishing outlet, writing a query e-mail
    5. 5. Section 4: Elements of an article
    6. 6. Section 5: Writing the article – structure, style and storytelling
    7. 7. Section 6: Submission
    8. 8. Section 6: Books, book chapters, conferences etc
    9. 9. Section 7: Your Writing Plan</li></ul>2<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    10. 10. TASK 1 - Getting Started<br /><ul><li>Write for five minutes, in sentences, without stopping, using one of the following prompts
    11. 11. I am interested in writing about…
    12. 12. An area of my experience which I would like to write about is…
    13. 13. A really interesting project that I think people would be interested in reading about is…
    14. 14. I feel at my most creative when I’m writing about…</li></ul>Murray, R. (2005) Writing for Academic Journals. <br />Maidenhead: Open University Press (see section on writing to prompt)<br />3<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    15. 15. TASK 2 - Writing to a time and word limit<br />4<br /><ul><li>Write for five minutes in sentences, in no more than fifty words, explaining to your department head why is it important for your unit/college that your research is made public)</li></ul>Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    16. 16. On Writing<br />If you’re clear in your mind about what you are going to paint, there is no point in painting it (Picasso)<br />I have to start to write to have ideas (Françoise Sagan)<br />Writing is a process of discovery. Sometimes you don't know what you know. You may know it but have no idea how it fits together (Alice Walker)<br />Maimon, Elaine P.(2007) A Writer’s Resource: A Handbook for Writing and Research. 2nd ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill (see section on clustering)<br />5<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    17. 17. TASK 3 - Clustering/mapping<br />6<br />Writing for Academic Publication<br />Peer-reviewed<br />Professional<br />Prompt<br />Journals<br />Techniques<br />Outlets<br />Freewriting<br />Books<br />Outlining<br />Conference<br />Single Author<br />Edited Collections<br />Paper<br />Who<br />Where<br />Poster<br />What<br />Why <br />Parallel<br />When<br />How<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    18. 18. TASK 4 - Defining audience and purpose<br /><ul><li>Describe in one sentence the purpose of the piece you are writing
    19. 19. What is the specific audience for your article?
    20. 20. What do they already know about the topic?
    21. 21. What kinds of things are important to this audience?
    22. 22. How will they benefit from your work?
    23. 23. What is the right outlet for your audience?
    24. 24. What is the right level?
    25. 25. Where has this topic been covered before?
    26. 26. What’s your angle?
    27. 27. Is this topic most suited for a research article/a practice-based article or some other format?</li></ul>7<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    28. 28. Outlining<br /><ul><li>Order ideas
    29. 29. Sift & eliminate ideas
    30. 30. Contextualise/Give framework
    31. 31. View structure at a glance</li></ul>The reason many aspiring authors fail is that they throw themselves immediately into the activity of writing without realizing it is the forethought, analysis and preparation that determine the quality of the finished product <br /> Day, A. (2007) How to Get Research Published in Journals. Burlington, VT.: Ashgate. P. 9<br /> what, who, when, where, why, how<br />8<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    32. 32. OutliningMurray, R. (2005) Writing for Academic Journals. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press, p. 9<br />9<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    33. 33. Brown’s 8 questions for writing a research article<br /><ul><li>Who are the intended readers?
    34. 34. What did you do? (limit 50 words)
    35. 35. Why did you do it? (limit 50 words)
    36. 36. What happened? (limit 50 words)
    37. 37. What do the results mean in theory?(limit 50 words)
    38. 38. What do the results mean in practice? (limit 50 words)
    39. 39. What is the key benefit for readers? (limit 25 words)
    40. 40. What remains unresolved (to be done)? (no word limit)</li></ul> Brown, R. (1994), Write right first time,Literati Newsline,Special issue, p. 1-8<br />10<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    41. 41. TASK 5 - Outlining<br /><ul><li>Draw up an outline for an article for a journal using what, who, when, where, why & how (max words 300)
    42. 42. OR Draw up an outline for an article using Brown’s 8 questions for drafting a research article (max words 300)
    43. 43. OR Write your article as a story with a beginning, middle and end (max words 400)</li></ul>11<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    44. 44. TASK 6 - Audience and Purpose<br /><ul><li>Answer the following questions in single sentences
    45. 45. Who is the audiencefor your writing?
    46. 46. What is the purposeof your writing?</li></ul>12<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    47. 47. Which outlet is best for your work? <br />Journal – professional journal e.g. SCONUL Focus, An Leabharlann<br />Journal – peer reviewed e.g. Library Review, Library Management, Journal of Academic Librarianship, AISHE-J: The Journal of the All Ireland Society for Higher Education<br />Conference/Seminar paper/poster – AISHE, NAIRTL, IUISC, LIR, UKSG<br />Newsletter – in-house or other<br />Popular Media – newspapers, radio, magazines<br />Blog/Wiki/podcast<br />Book chapter – calls for chapters<br />Book – usually commissioned – see proposal form in package<br />Other<br />13<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    48. 48. Blogs & wikis - Librarians as academic writers<br />The Mortimore-Singh Guide to Publication in Library and Information Science<br />http://www.uncg.edu/lis/PublicationGuide<br />LIS Publications Wikki<br />http://slisapps.sjsu.edu/wikis/faculty/putnam/index.php/LIS_Publications_Wiki<br />Publishing and Speaking: Library Success Wiki<br />http://slisapps.sjsu.edu/wikis/faculty/putnam/index.php/LIS_Publications_Wiki<br />Academic Writing Blog (libraries)<br />http://anltcwriters.blogspot.com <br />A Library Writer’s Blog<br />http://librarywriting.blogspot.com/<br />Beyond the Job<br />http://librarywriting.blogspot.com/<br />Bibliography in package<br />14<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    49. 49. Journal Analysis<br />Who is the publisher?<br />Who is the editor/on the editorial board?<br />Is the journal national or international?<br />What do the guidelines for contributions stipulate?<br />Is some or all of the content peer-reviewed?<br />How many issues are there per year and how many of these are themed? <br />What types of material are published?<br />Are articles illustrated?<br />How many references do typical papers include?<br />How long is the average article?<br />15<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    50. 50. Journal Analysis<br /><ul><li>Are articles written in the first, third or other person?
    51. 51. Is the tone formal or informal?
    52. 52. What type of style is used? Are sentences short or long? What length typically are paragraphs? How many headings/sub-headings are there per article?
    53. 53. Has your topic been covered in this journal before?
    54. 54. Do you have a new angle?
    55. 55. Why would this journal be interested in your topic?
    56. 56. Before writing scan at least three recent issues of the journal</li></ul>16<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    57. 57. TASK 7 - Drafting a query e-mail<br /><ul><li>Before writing/submitting
    58. 58. Editor
    59. 59. Single sentences
    60. 60. I am writing an article on…
    61. 61. My experience is this area…
    62. 62. I think that readers of your journal would be interested in… because…
    63. 63. Calls for papers (blogs etc.)</li></ul>17<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    64. 64. Elements of an Article- title and abstract<br />Title<br /><ul><li>Stimulate reader’s interest
    65. 65. Working title/final title
    66. 66. Attract and inform the reader
    67. 67. Stand out
    68. 68. Be accurate
    69. 69. Facilitate indexing</li></ul>For more on titles consult<br />Hartley, J. (2008) Academic Writing and Publishing: A practical handbook. London: Routledge, p. 23-27<br />Abstract <br /><ul><li>Synopsis
    70. 70. Details essence
    71. 71. Length determined by journal
    72. 72. Generally around 100 words
    73. 73. informative or structured</li></ul>18<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    74. 74. Informative Abstract<br /><ul><li>By surveying reference practitioners on their perceptions of chat reference training, this study presents effective training techniques that could enhance the professional preparation for chat reference personnel. Results indicate that the most effective training techniques involve hands-on practice among trainees and easy access...
    75. 75. Study abstracts in your target journal. What verbs do they use?Addresses, argues, asks, concludes, covers, demonstrates, describes, discusses, elucidates, enhances, evaluates, examines, expands, explains, explores, identifies, maps, outlines, presents, proposes, reports, reviews, shows, suggests, summarises, surveys, synthesizes, touches on</li></ul>19<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    76. 76. Structured Abstract<br /><ul><li>Purpose
    77. 77. This article explores the benefits of a writing support programme in developing the skills and motivation of librarians to write for academic publication.
    78. 78. Design/methodology/approach
    79. 79. A brief review of the literature is presented. The model developed and implemented by this author is outlined. Findings from a survey of participants are discussed.
    80. 80. Research limitations/implications
    81. 81. The formal programme commenced in 2007. The publication process takes time, particularly in the case of peer-reviewed journals. This is exploratory work. It will take time to build up a body of information and a community of librarians writing for publication. Initial evidence indicates there is significant value to the programme.
    82. 82. Practical implications
    83. 83. The model is transferable and could help in building skills and confidence in academic writing. In addition academic writing could serve as a bridge between lecturing and library staff, addressing issues of common concern across the academy.
    84. 84. Originality/value
    85. 85. This is the first formal writing support programme for librarians in Irish universities. Models exist in the US. A similar model is used in the UK and Ireland to support lecturing staff writing for publication.
    86. 86. Paper Type
    87. 87. Case Study
    88. 88. Keywords
    89. 89. Librarians, publication, academic writing, writing intervention</li></ul>20<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    90. 90. TASK 8 - Title, keywords and abstract<br /><ul><li>Give your article a working title
    91. 91. Allocate three keywords which you would expect people would use to retrieve your article
    92. 92. Write an abstract for your article
    93. 93. Informative (80 word max)
    94. 94. Structured - as per slide</li></ul>21<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    95. 95. Elements of an Article - Introduction<br /><ul><li>Introduces the substantive content of the paper
    96. 96. Sets the scene
    97. 97. Brings the reader in and gives a flavour of what is to come
    98. 98. States the purpose
    99. 99. States the scope
    100. 100. States how issue is addressed
    101. 101. Usually starts from the general and progresses to the specific
    102. 102. In general the introduction should be quite brief and certainly no more that a sixth of the total article length
    103. 103. May include context/background or this may follow introduction</li></ul>22<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    104. 104. Elements of an Article - Literature review<br /><ul><li>Tells what others have found on topic
    105. 105. Provides a context from which to illustrate how the work documented in the rest of the paper extends or advances understanding and knowledge
    106. 106. Demonstrates that the author is familiar with past and present thinking on a topic and understands where their work fits
    107. 107. Highly selective and specific, referring to other pieces of work most relevant to the argument being made</li></ul>23<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    108. 108. Elements of an Article - Methodology & analysis/outcomes/results<br /><ul><li>Methodology details how the research was carried out
    109. 109. The analysis should state clearly and unambiguously what the findings are and how they are being interpreted
    110. 110. Where required it should supplement the argument made with analytic evidence e.g.statistics, tables, charts, maps, or quotes</li></ul>24<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    111. 111. Elements of an Article - Discussion & conclusion<br />Discussion<br /><ul><li>Folds together the previous sections, linking the findings to the literature review and makes the case for the argument developed</li></ul>Conclusion<br /><ul><li>Brings key points together
    112. 112. Summarises rationale and findings
    113. 113. Reaffirming how the research advances understanding and knowledge
    114. 114. Outlining how future studies could build on and extend the research and argument reported
    115. 115. Try to link with introduction</li></ul>25<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    116. 116. Elements of an Article - References and keywords<br />Keywords<br /><ul><li>Indexing terms
    117. 117. The way your article will be retrieved by databases/search engines etc.</li></ul>References<br /><ul><li>Follow journal guidelines
    118. 118. Complete
    119. 119. Accurate</li></ul>26<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    120. 120. Writing<br />All writing is rewriting<br />Allow yourself to write badly <br />Don’t look for perfection, just write<br /> Good writing is bad writing, ferociously self-revised<br />Plotnik, A. (2006) Straight Answers from Arthur Plotnik American Librarian, May 2006, p. 20<br /> I just put down any sort of rubbish,” a celebrated critic once remarked about his first attempts. And putting down rubbish is good advice…the truth is that once a sentence is lying on the page, it is often shatteringly clear what is right and what is wrong with it. Put it down, and go on putting more of it down. Everything can be mended later<br />Watson, George (1987) Writing a thesis: a guide to long essays and dissertations. London: Longman, p. 39<br />27<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    121. 121. Structuring<br />Marco Polo describes a bridge, stone by stone.<br />“But which is the stone that supports the bridge?” Kublai Khan asks.<br />The bridge is not supported by one stone on another,” Marco answers, “but by the line of the arch that they form.”<br />Kublai Khan remains silent, reflecting. Then he adds: “Why do you speak to me of the stones? It is only the arch that matters to me.”<br />Polo answers: “Without the stones there is no arch.”<br />Calvino, I. (1997) Invisible Cities. London: Vintage, p. 82)<br />28<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    122. 122. Learning how to structure<br /><ul><li>Read
    123. 123. Read first for story then for structure
    124. 124. Model articles on other articles that work well (template)
    125. 125. Different structures can achieve the same end in different ways
    126. 126. Be aware of your audience</li></ul>29<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    127. 127. Elements of structure<br /><ul><li>Multifaceted
    128. 128. Signposts
    129. 129. Headings & subheadings (official)
    130. 130. Endings of sections that hark back to what went before,announce what comes next (unofficial)
    131. 131. Sentence length
    132. 132. Paragraphs
    133. 133. Transitions
    134. 134. Coherence/clarity</li></ul> In a real sense it is better to create a text that says only a little, but says it clearly in a well-organized way, than to say something that says a lot but is so badly written, and so badly structured, that no one who reads it can understand what it is about<br /> Canter and Fairbairn, p. 74<br />30<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    135. 135. Style<br /><ul><li>House style (journal style)
    136. 136. First, second or third person
    137. 137. Active or passive voice
    138. 138. Tense
    139. 139. Movement
    140. 140. Coherence/clarity
    141. 141. Irrelevant information/Irrelevant words</li></ul>31<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    142. 142. Writing as Storytelling<br /><ul><li>Writing as storytelling
    143. 143. Beginning, middle and end(not necessarily in that order)
    144. 144. What makes a story interesting?
    145. 145. A story has a theme
    146. 146. A story has movement
    147. 147. A story has a flow
    148. 148. Something happens/changes
    149. 149. Try to write your piece from start to finish before beginning editing</li></ul>32<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    150. 150. Drafting and Revising<br /><ul><li>Draft and redraft
    151. 151. Number and date drafts
    152. 152. Refer back to your audience & purpose statement
    153. 153. Ask a critical colleague to read
    154. 154. Revise title, abstract & article
    155. 155. When finished put aside for at least a week
    156. 156. Reread
    157. 157. Spell check
    158. 158. Recheck submission guidelines
    159. 159. File preprint
    160. 160. Let go</li></ul>33<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    161. 161. What makes a manuscript immediately appealing to an editor?<br /><ul><li>Professional appearance: how it looks
    162. 162. New/Novel treatment of the subject
    163. 163. Thorough
    164. 164. Author guidelines followed
    165. 165. Good writing clarity and style
    166. 166. Relevance of subject
    167. 167. Title of manuscript
    168. 168. High quality abstract
    169. 169. Seminal piece of work/research
    170. 170. A controversial subject</li></ul>34<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    171. 171. Why editors reject manuscripts<br /><ul><li>Author guidelines not followed
    172. 172. Not thorough
    173. 173. Bad writing (lack of clarity and style)
    174. 174. Subject of no interest to readers
    175. 175. Poor statistics, tables, figures
    176. 176. Old subject
    177. 177. Unprofessional appearance
    178. 178. Title
    179. 179. Too simple - reporting
    180. 180. Written at the wrong level</li></ul>35<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    181. 181. Submission<br /><ul><li>Professional Journal – editor
    182. 182. Academic Journal – peer-reviewers
    183. 183. Referees
    184. 184. Accept as is
    185. 185. Accept with revisions
    186. 186. Revise and resubmit
    187. 187. Reject
    188. 188. Make changes as quickly as possible
    189. 189. Reread
    190. 190. Resubmit
    191. 191. Keep postprint</li></ul>www.sherpa.ac.uk<br />36<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    192. 192. Presenting a paper at a conference<br /><ul><li>Audience
    193. 193. Context
    194. 194. Precursor to publishing elsewhere
    195. 195. Target library and other conferences
    196. 196. Comments/questions/feedback
    197. 197. Further development
    198. 198. Connections</li></ul>37<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    199. 199. Book review/Edited book/Book<br /><ul><li>Book Review – see guidelines in package
    200. 200. Call for chapters
    201. 201. Invited contributions
    202. 202. Editor
    203. 203. Brief
    204. 204. Content and style
    205. 205. Audience
    206. 206. Time deadline
    207. 207. Honorarium
    208. 208. A book is usually commissioned
    209. 209. Royalties</li></ul>38<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />
    210. 210. Moving on with your Writing<br /><ul><li>Set realistic goals
    211. 211. Write (Describe, reflect and evaluate)
    212. 212. Read (angle?)
    213. 213. Collect potentially useful data
    214. 214. Participate in writing blogs
    215. 215. Notebook/Journal – snack & sandwich writing
    216. 216. Talk to colleagues
    217. 217. Collaborate with librarians/with academic staff
    218. 218. Give and look for peer support
    219. 219. Celebrate success
    220. 220. Bibliography
    221. 221. Academic Writing Blog</li></ul>39<br />Writing for Academic Publication ~ Helen Fallon, NUI Maynooth [2010]<br />