Professional Development

Workshop: When, What, and How to Publish (Drs. Bender, Busl, Lackey)

  • Scholarly vs. popular publishing
    • Some believe we have the responsibility to reach outside the ivory tower, i.e. The Op Ed Project (Other ideas: Bustle, Refinery29…)
    • …but you need to balance this… You need to think about your work in both ways. How does this work impact the discipline, but how might it be useful out there in the big wide world?
    • Make popular pieces part of the pipeline. This change is happening in our discipline (i.e. MLA changed from “Office of Publication” to the “Office of Scholarly Communication”.)
    • Another plus: time to publishing is much faster. It won’t count the SAME for tenure, but it carries weight.
    • Some folks even establish serious academic blogging creds (and sometimes it counts for tenure! i.e. Robin James, It’s Her Factory)
    • “Even if it’s popular, it helps build your profile” (Busl) and “…it’s good for the university” (Bender).
    • If you want to work with the same ideas in more than one place, consider copyrights! The journal may own it… (The university may own it…)
  • Interpretive vs. empirical pieces
  • Single author vs. collaborative pieces
    • There are good and bad things about each, in terms of time, the writing process, and how they are viewed (by your tenure committee, etc.) Consider your choices carefully (but it can be really rewarding. We are NOT saying don’t do it.)
    • This can be a great way to branch out and expand what you can cover (i.e. adding statistical analysis + a participant voice + a theory voice) or help you learn new skills (i.e. building a web text).
    • Inside Higher Ed, Howard: “Collaborating and Co-Authoring”
    • Inside Higher Ed, McGrath: “Collaboration in the Humanities”
    • Lisa Spiro, “Collaborative Authorship in the Humanities”
  • Books reviews (How useful are they? How many should I do?)
    • Enjoying a big resurgence right now! (Print books are now outselling Amazon again!) Consider this creative criticism, right now a very hot genre.
    • These can be a great way to start collecting bylines. They take time (but if it’s something you need to read anyway….)
    • You can propose based on something you are reading, OR you can watch for journals calling for reviewers, and they will send you a particular book to review.
    • …don’t make a career of it. They are useful, but focus more on article publications. It can be helpful, but they are time consuming and don’t count the same as articles (so, balance.)
    • If you want to do this, study the journal(s) you want to submit to and pay attention to the structure and content of how they want books reviewed. Some places have longer forms than others.
    • Doing a couple as a graduate student can be really useful! But there is a law of diminishing returns–at a certain point in your career you should be using that time for articles (and then you might want to come back to these later in life?)
    • “The Professor is In”: “Is Writing a Book Review Ever Worth It?” | “How to Write an Honest but Collegial Book Review”
    • Inside Higher Ed: “Essay on writing academic book reviews”
  • Encyclopedia articles/entries
    • Some are really short and some really long (which increases time to research and write.) Think about the cost/return. (Sometimes the benefit will outweigh the time, but not always. Consider Dr. Bender’s example.)
  • Question: “I heard book chapters don’t count the same.”
    • They don’t.
    • Be careful about edited collections. They are fun and can be worthwhile but are valued less (because the peer review process is not the same, because of the prestige of the editor[s] and the press) than journal articles, so some just say no. (We’ve all done them.)
    • Conference proceedings: You are better off placing this essay and going through the peer review process. You will get more readers, and it will “count” for more.
    • It will take more time to go towards a journal, but it will be more valuable, and carry more weight. You will get more readers and more citations, better feedback, better editing….
  • Revising vs. writing from scratch
    • Revising (duh) is easier. 😉
    • …but at some point you run out of seminar papers to mine, so you have to start from scratch. It’s really important to keep going to conferences in the field.
    • Get this!  (Wendy Belcher)
  • Creating and maintaining a publishing pipeline
    • one in proofs, one under review, something you’re revising, something you’re writing, something you’re researching. (Yes, all at once. Kind of.)
    • Choosing: There’s lots of ways to do this. Love it. It takes time and energy. Or, what is hottest? What is nobody doing yet? Or, what is ready? (Low hanging fruit is still fruit!)
    • Get this!  (Wendy Belcher)
  • Finding and responding to CFPs (for conferences, special editions for journals, etc.)
  • Choosing a journal

Workshop time!

What did you bring with you? What other lives do you envision for it? How can we help you get it there?


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