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1 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter 11 Disseminating research findings Writing for publication: a staged approach Professor Lin Norton, Research Director Write Now CETL

2 2 Outline 1.Overview of getting your research published 2.Consideration of conference dissemination 3.Step by step process of writing for journals

3 3 Why it is important to disseminate your research No matter how good your research study is it will, like any other project, perish unless you can disseminate it as widely as possible. Harsh realities of academe apply even more these days: ‘publish or perish’ It is important to always follow the principles of rigour, peer review and esteem of publication

4 4 Common methods of dissemination Depends on your goals and focus i.e. –Who do you want to influence? Colleagues, Your subject team, Policy makers at your institution? –What level are you aiming at? Institutional, National International?

5 5 Reporting beyond your institution What are the main avenues? –Conferences and conference proceedings –Newsletters, on-line dissemination –Books (monographs) Edited vs. single-authored –Chapters in books –Journals

6 6 What are the advantages of presenting at conferences? 1.Valuable peer feedback to help you develop a journal paper or book chapter 2.Imposes a deadline! 3.Enables networking, inspiration and encouragement (writing up research can be a lonely experience) 4.Many conferences give you the opportunity to publish in their conference proceedings

7 7 Getting your abstract accepted In a very limited space (typically about 300 words) you have to make a good case for why your proposal should be accepted Your abstract, needs to summarize your key contributions in terms of what is new, different and, most crucially, applicable about your work to the conference themes. It can be helpful to structure your abstract: title, aims, research design, findings,theoretical educational significance, references Follow all instructions scrupulously!!

8 8 Rewriting your abstract to attract delegates Title to attract without being unbearably ‘twee’; some of best titles have the catchy part in the first clause and the information in the second part e.g. –It’s analysis Jim, but not as we know it: Reflections on a first year undergraduate module and its implications for musicology (Freya Jarman-Ivens, PRHE conference 2010) Think about what your audience will get out of your presentation Promising interaction, handouts, other materials can be persuasive, depending on the conference

9 9 Posters: are they worth it? YES, absolutely Different type of dissemination Less formal so often excellent opportunity to network and get one-on-one feedback Can use the opportunity to handout copies of a draft paper linked to the topic of your poster

10 10 Advantages and disadvantages of writing journal papers? Generally accepted as rigorous markers of research esteem (REF assessable) Take a long time and a lot of effort May not always be read by many colleagues

11 11 Writing for a journal Step one: Target your journal before you start writing (how do you decide ?) Step two: Follow the instructions for authors Step three: Write your paper ( ask colleagues to comment on drafts) Step four: Submit your paper Step five: Respond to the reviewers Step six: The final stages

12 12 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter 11 Disseminating research findings Step 1: How do you decide which journal? What is its purpose/aim? How prestigious is it? How many issues a year? Is it national/international? Is it refereed and how? This is an important index of quality – 4 levels: 1.Editor alone 2.Editorial board 3.Peer reviewed 4.Blind peer reviewed

13 13 Step 1: Judging quality Impact factor represents: a. the frequency that an ‘average’ article has been cited by indexed journals in a particular year, b. the number of articles published in that year Impact factor = a/b therefore different scales Thompson’s Journal Citation reports (used in Sciences and Social Sciences) –Taylor and Francis will give JCR ranking e.g. for J of Geography in HE 15/39 and impact factor of in 2006 Other indicators of impact: Anne-Wil Harzing’s site about academic publishing and the assessment of research and journal quality as well as software to conduct citation analysis SCOPUS abstract and citation database of research literature and quality web sources

14 14 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter 11 Disseminating research findings Steps 2 & 3: Writing your paper for a specific journal Follow the instructions for authors EXACTLY (word length, referencing, double spacing) Get someone to comment on your mss before you submit it Be prepared to redraft several times before submitting (make sure each draft is numbered and saved in many different locations to ensure you don’t send the wrong draft in.) Submit the paper with an accompanying letter to the editor (electronic submission often gives you this opportunity)

15 15 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter 11 Disseminating research findings Step 4: Sample letter Dear Professor Brilliant (make sure you know who the current Editor is) Please find enclosed/attached four copies of our paper ‘The way of the world; a conceptual analysis’ by Janet Klever and Christopher Knowall. I should be grateful if you would consider this manuscript for publication in your journal World issues; theory and practice. As first author, I will handle all correspondence and can be contacted as follows Postal address: Telephone: Mobile: Fax: I look forward to hearing from you Yours sincerely, Janet Klever

16 16 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter 11 Disseminating research findings Step 4: Electronic submissions Much more common these days such as Scholar One manuscripts Need to set aside at least half a day Log in if registered, if not need to register Read guidance/tutorials before you embark and always work from a hard copy of everything in case the system doesn’t allow you to save

17 17 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter 11 Disseminating research findings Step 4:The waiting game Usually Editor will acknowledge safe receipt of your mss (online you get instant acknowledgment) Most turn rounds supposed to be within 6-8 weeks (my experience much longer than that) OK to send a polite reminder to Editor if you’ve not heard after about weeks

18 18 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter 11 Disseminating research findings Step 5: Responding to the reviewers Usually get an or letter from the editor with her/his decision together with copies of the referees’ comments. The decision likely to take one of 4 forms: 1. Accept without any revisions or minor typos (VERY rare! ) 2. Accept with minor revisions (i.e. respond to all of the referees’ comments and pay particular attention to anything that the Editor asks you to do 3.Accept with major revisions – might be collecting more data, substantial rewriting- will almost certainly be sent back to original referees to be reviewed again 4. Rejection (sometimes you are given suggestions as to other journals you might try, if so do it! Never, ever, abandon the goal of getting it published somewhere)

19 19 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter 11 Disseminating research findings Step 5: Pushing against that open door In order to give yourself the best possible chance of having your revised mss accepted make sure you send it with an additional letter to the Editor showing how and where you have made the changes – perfectly ok to say why you haven't made a specific change if you give a reasonable rationale Good to highlight referees’ comments and show how you have responded to them giving as much detail as possible (page and line number) to help speed up the process

20 20 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter 11 Disseminating research findings Step 5: Example of a letter to the editor accompanying a revised mss Dear… I am sending you three copies of my amended manuscript as requested, plus an electronic copy in Word for Windows. I have also enclosed a separate sheet detailing our responses to both referees’ comments and criticisms. As you will see, we have paid very careful attention to them and have found their suggestions to be extremely helpful and feel that the paper is now better as a result. I would be grateful if you would pass on our appreciation. (Sometimes authors prefer to put an acknowledgment in their paper if the suggestions have been particularly useful). I hope that this amended manuscript will now be suitable for publication and I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely

21 21 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter 11 Disseminating research findings Step 6: The final stages Be patient – there may be a waiting time of several months but the editor should let you know. You are now entitled to say this article is in press. Eg. Klever,J & Knowall, C. (in press) The way of the world; a conceptual analysis. To appear in World issues; theory and practice. You will be sent various legal documents to sign saying it has not appeared elsewhere, that all the named authors are happy to be authors, and copyright agreement. Then out of the blue you will be sent the proofs and given about 3 days!! to correct – very expensive process so you can’t rewrite anything – use conventional proofreading symbols (available on the internet)

22 22 Adapted from Norton, L.S. (2009) Action research in teaching and learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities. Chapter 11 Disseminating research findings You did it! Finally- it’s published!! You don’t get paid but most journals will offer you hard copies or free electronic access, sometimes a hard copy of the journal issue in which your paper appears. Forget modesty and distribute widely (not just to your nearest and dearest) – most journal articles only get read by a handful of academics


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