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Publish, not perish Richard Watson Todd Presented at Suranaree University of Technology 22nd August 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Publish, not perish Richard Watson Todd Presented at Suranaree University of Technology 22nd August 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Publish, not perish Richard Watson Todd Presented at Suranaree University of Technology 22nd August 2007

2 Overview n Choosing a journal n Common problems with articles n The mechanics of publishing –Sending the article –Dealing with reviewer feedback

3 Publishing in international refereed journals n Suppose you have a well-designed study with interesting findings n You decide to try to publish in an international refereed journal n What do you do next?

4 Deciding on the content of an article n Clear focus n Manageable length n Self-standing

5 Choosing the journal n Criteria for choosing a journal –Academic level of the journal –Style of the journal –Interests of the journal –Difficulty of getting published (publication rates vary from 5% to 75%) –Professionalism and length of time till publication

6 Some journals n Very academic journals –TESOL Quarterly –Applied Linguistics n Academic journals –System –Journal of Second Language Writing –Journal of English for Academic Purposes –ESP Journal

7 Some journals n Easier academic journals –RELC Journal n Non-academic but difficult to publish –ELT Journal n Non-academic –Guidelines –Forum –English Teaching Professional

8 Some journals n Specialised journals –Assessing Writing –Semiotica –Language and Education –Language Awareness –Studies in Second Language Acquisition –International Review of Applied Linguistics

9 National and other journals –Pasaa –ThaiTESOL Bulletin –rEFLections –Other universities’ journals –Journals in Taiwan, India, Korea etc.

10 Some horror stories! n Acceptance, then rejection on changing the editor n The black hole! n Publication without notification n Acceptance, and told to wait 3 years for publication

11 Preparing the article n Choose the journal before writing n Check the guidelines for contributors n Read 2 or 3 articles in the journal n Note: If rejected by one journal and you decide to submit to another, you need to rewrite the article

12 Write the article n When writing, pay special attention to those points which are often identified as problematic by reviewers

13 Common problems with articles n Article does not match the journal –Different interest –Different academic level n Article tries to prove something –Be open-minded –Failure is more interesting than success

14 Common problems with articles n Data chosen to fit predetermined finding –Especially a problem with some research methodologies –Double/triple subjectivity in research n No theoretical framework to research –Unprincipled research methodology –Stated framework not implemented

15 Common problems with articles n Key unstated assumptions –Lack of assumptions invalidates findings –Lack of assumptions shows lack of awareness of issues –Problems of identifying own assumptions

16 Common problems with articles n Confusing organisation –General rule: follow standard research article genre template (introduction - literature review - research purpose - methodology - findings - implications/discussion - conclusion) n No clearly stated research questions

17 Common problems with articles n Problems with literature review –Missing key literature –Vague undefined terms –Literature review as a list, not an argument

18 Common problems with articles n Problems with research methodology –No justifications for methodological decisions –Mismatch between data collection/analysis procedures and research purpose n Problems with findings –Inappropriate statistics –Unfounded qualitative data presentation

19 Common problems with articles n Problems with implications/discussion –Repetition of literature review –Lack of implications –Mismatch with findings –Wild claims on little evidence –Lack of relevance to journal (e.g. no implications for the classroom)

20 Common problems with articles n Language problems –Some errors OK (most applied linguistics journal editors are sympathetic to non-native speakers) BUT may lead to unconscious bias in reviewers –Opaque or super-formal language

21 Examples of inappropriate language n “New forms of literacy have emerged and educational institutions worldwide are thrown into a vortex where they are succumbed into carrying out revision of curricula” n “The literature that this writer reviewed seemed to suggest most clearly that the myriad of variables that various authors tried to identify and to measure were not the primary variables that one should study if one is to reach meaningful and valid conclusions about the phenomenon under scrutiny”

22 How to write articles n Pay special attention to the points which are common problems n Always ask someone to read and comment on your article before sending it off n And ask them to be as mean and critical as possible!

23 The process so far... n Conduct your research n Choose the journal n Write an article –Follow conventions of journal

24 The next stages n Ask a colleague to read and comment on your article n Revise the article n Send off the article –Post? –E-mail? –SEND TO ONE JOURNAL ONLY

25 Sending the article n Send at least 3 things: –Cover letter/e-mail –Cover sheet –Article –Other requirements (e.g. evidence of data, permission forms)

26 The cover letter n Purposes: –Who you are –You are sending an article –The article is original work –The article is not being considered elsewhere –Any other relevant points

27 The cover letter n Attached is an article for your consideration for publication in System. I declare that it is original work and has not been submitted for publication elsewhere. It is slightly over the normal word limit, please let me know if this is a problem. Also, please let me know if I also need to submit a hard copy to you.

28 The cover sheet n Purposes: –Your name(s) and contact details –Note: No evidence of authorship should appear in the actual article sent –Word count –Keywords?

29 The next stages n So you have sent off an article, what happens next? n Hopefully, you receive an acknowledgement of receipt n Wait

30 The next stages n Wait

31 The next stages n Wait n Response time varies between journals. For System, response may be 2-3 months. For many journals, response time may be up to 1 year.

32 Reviewers’ comments n Eventually, you will receive the reviewers’ comments n Types of feedback –Acceptance with minor changes (unlikely) –Acceptance with major changes –Revise and resubmit –Rejection (hopefully with reasons) If rejected, need to decide: give up OR submit elsewhere

33 Reviewers’ comments n Typical format of comments –Overview of paper including recommendation –General major content points needing revision –Specific language/format points needing revision

34 Dealing with reviewers’ comments n Check comments against the article n Addend comments to the article n Make sure you understand the reasons for the comments n Edit following the comments n Justify points where revisions are not made n Keep track of all revisions made for each comment n Produce the revised article

35 Cover letter for revisions n Purposes: –To show how you have made revisions to deal with the reviewers’ comments –To justify where you have not followed comments

36 Sending the revised version of the article n Send revised article and cover letter for revisions n You may need other documentation at this stage n Wait

37 Final editing n Receive proofs for editing –Check proofs for minor mistakes –No major revisions can be made at this stage n Sign copyright transferral form n Deal with offprint order form

38 WAIT FOR PUBLICATION Congratulations

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