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Writing a conference paper Lin Norton Faculty of Education Liverpool Hope University 14 March 2012 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing a conference paper Lin Norton Faculty of Education Liverpool Hope University 14 March 2012 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing a conference paper Lin Norton Faculty of Education Liverpool Hope University 14 March 2012 1

2 Outline 1. Your experiences: discussion 2. Mix of my own experience as: Conference organiser Conference reviewer Conference submitter (sometimes unsuccessful) 3. Some examples of what to avoid 4. Critical friend exercise: Looking at abstracts 2

3 Discussion 1. What are your own experiences of conference submissions and conference papers? 2. What do you hope to get out of this workshop? 3

4 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

5 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

6 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 (peer-reviewed) 6

7 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 (conference papers) 7

8 What are the different types of conference papers? 1. Papers (usually short) that must be written beforehand for peer review(e.g. SRHE; EARLI) usually in two parts a) abstract 150 words b) Paper (1000 words) Once abstract is accepted there is no call for further reviewing 2. Conference proceedings (e.g. ISL, Education-line), once abstract is accepted, there is an opportunity for rewriting for publication (but not usually any further review) 3. Papers you write yourself for networking, as hand-outs etc. 8

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 hand out copies of a draft paper linked to the topic of your poster 9

10 Getting your abstract accepted 10 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: o title, aims, research design, findings, theoretical /educational significance, references Follow all instructions scrupulously!!

11 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. o 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, hand-outs, other materials can be persuasive, depending on the conference 11

12 What are reviewers looking for in conference abstracts/papers? 1. A fit with the conference theme/s. 2. A clear, internally consistent, and informed theoretical framework that explains the methodology. 3. Evidence that the study has actually been carried out, even if analysis is on-going. 4. A consistent story throughout and some sort of implications/conclusions. 12

13 Writing the conference paper Often but not always, your conference paper is not further reviewed (why it is not counted as being as prestigious as peer-reviewed conference papers) Step one: Follow the instructions for authors (to the letter and taking account of any deadlines) Step two: Write your paper either developing your conference draft or working from your abstract Step three: Ask colleagues to comment on drafts. 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.) Step four: Submit your paper Step five: Respond to the reviewers/editors requirements (this doesn’t always happen) Step six: The final stages (proof reading copyright etc.) 13

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