Writing for Publication in Academic Journals

Tonight I hosted a panel discussion on this at our campus student success center. This center is a great resource and the session was really useful. The speakers were from Nursing, Economics, and Psychology and it was really interesting to hear how the conventions differ between disciplines and also where there is common ground. This is one of the areas of post-graduate education where I can see a lot of room for improvement. Sessions like this are valuable because they offer really practical advice about practices which can make a real difference to our chances of getting hired. And with so few (in my area anyhow) tenure-track positions coming up, we need all the support and information we can get. I know I am not looking for an academic job after I finish but I still want to be smart about my choices and my practices.
One thing that I hadn’t thought about before was the way in which we behave as reviewers (when we are invited to review submissions for a journal). I think there are two temptations to avoid: a) to agree to review and then put it off and either be late with it or not do it at all and b) to feel as though we have to be critical in order to prove ourselves as ‘serious’. It seems like common sense now, but being a reviewer on a journal brings our name and comments to the eyes of the top notch scholars who edit these journals. Providing timely, thoughtful, feedback in an organized and professional manner can be great reputation building practice. I’ve been asked to review submissions before and I have sometimes done a good job but have also dropped the ball on a couple of occasions. This was a good reminder to attend to the details and to be professional even when I am trying to figure out critical discourse analysis and a four-year-old’s tantrums (we had a doozy tonight, bedtime went on for about three hours). I need to allocate time to respond to emails and do administrative tasks and to certainly not say yes to things in order to temporarily get them off my radar.
In other dissertation news…I have been progressing, albeit slowly, with methodology and methods. I met with my supervisor last week and I have a deadline of Feb 20th to send her what I have managed to cobble together by then. I’m pretty excited to get some feedback.

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