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Publish - perish? Publish - flourish! Jean-Marc Dewaele Deptm of Applied Linguistics & Communication.

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Presentation on theme: "Publish - perish? Publish - flourish! Jean-Marc Dewaele Deptm of Applied Linguistics & Communication."— Presentation transcript:

1 Publish - perish? Publish - flourish! Jean-Marc Dewaele Deptm of Applied Linguistics & Communication


3 Structure Introduction Obtaining data, analysing results Getting feedback Finding journals Submitting Revisions Establishing networks, attending conferences Moral and ethical standards

4 Under the academic adage "publish or perish," would Galileo receive tenure at the University of Pisa today? Sure, he was smart-he proved Copernicus's theory that the earth moves around the sun. But what about his publishing record? Galileo took six years to write his treatise, The Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic and Copernican. Church censorship, peer review, and the plague caused further delays, and three more years passed before the book was published-and not by a university press. And how original was The Dialogue anyway? Was Galileo simply proving Copernicus's ideas? Donna Euben (2002) Publish or perish: The ever-higher publications hurdle for tenure. Academe How much is enough?

5 The importance of publications Academic career depends on publication list Young PhD graduate: a few publications may convince potential employer of research potential (enough to get you shortlisted) Something is better than nothing Yet, avoid publishing crap Strategic plan is useful: publish what, where, at what pace, with whom?

6 An immodest note to establish my credibility on the topic 1 monograph, 3 edited books, 5 special issues, 116 refereed papers & chapters, 25 non- refereed papers, 37 book reviews Assistant Editor of International Journal of Bilingualism, Reviews Editor Sociolinguistic Studies (2006-2010), Editor Birkbeck Studies in Applied Linguistics (2006- ) Editorial board member of Intercultural Pragmatics, EUROSLA Yearbook, International Journal of Multilingualism, Canadian Modern Language Review 90 papers at conferences, 13 plenary speeches

7 Membership of Executive Committees President of the European Second Language Association (2007-2011) International Association of Multilingualism (founding member) International Association of Applied Linguistics (2002-2008), Research Network Convenor of Multilingualism: Acquisition & use (2005-2011) Association of French Language Studies (2000- 2005)

8 How to get published Is the research topic hot? Do you belong to a network of people interested in the topic? => go to conferences, talk to major researchers in the field, contact authors if paper if not easily accessible (a little flattery can help) Keep an eye on call for papers of conferences or special issues or edited books

9 Conference presentations Excellent to get noticed Learn to use Powerpoint effectively (keep it simple) Dont try to cram too much in 20 mins talk, make sure there is some time left for discussion) Be clear, dont speak too quickly (dont read text!!!) Try and make the audience laugh Welcome all suggestions, acknowledge limitations of study, refer to future work Never pretend to know it all (nobody does)

10 Create your own network If you work on a novel topic: organise workshops, colloquia at international conferences Have contributors agree on submitting their papers for special issues in international refereed journals, or an edited book Plant the flag and establish your own little turf => one criterion for later promotion is whether you are recognised as a leading figure in one (sub)field

11 Become a node in networks Become a member of professional organisations Be present at their annual meetings Stand for election of executive committees Accept invitations to become member of editorial boards of journals (after regular reviewing) Accept invitations to become actively involved in the running of journals and bookseries (but dont overdo it) Accept invitations to join boards of grant awarding bodies

12 What to publish? Small research project =>pilot study MA thesis findings Critical review of literature on topic Critical analysis of popular concept Discussion forum Book reviews for journals in your field => good way to get free books and get noticed!!

13 Co-authored or single publications? Depends on field Co-authoring with experienced researchers can be great experience Combination of specific skills of authors

14 Finding the right journal: Aim high or low? Quantity or quality? Aim for balance: some quick low level: conference proceedings, web-based journals. Invest time & energy in at least one/ a few prestigious publication/s => if you can do one, you can do more! Get your best work in the best journals (check them out: impact factor?) Avoid non-refereed journals (unless its reviews or opinion pieces for general public) Avoid volumes with low-prestige editors &/or authors, &/or publishers Avoid editors that work slowly (you cant wait 3-4 yrs for your first publication to come out)

15 What to avoid in the paper Superficial literature search, Wikipedia-based Dont claim that very little research has been done in an area if youre not 100% sure! => reviewers may react negatively Sloppiness in presentation of text: respect style sheet, make sure references are in right format, double- check list of references, make sure spelling of surnames is correct Sweeping generalisations Claims that cannot be substantiated Rhetorical style that does not match that of journal Taking a side in a debate & ignoring the counter- arguments (remain objective, dont write a pamplet)

16 Getting your paper accepted Keep it simple (focus on one specific theme): better to explain one idea in detail than many superficially! Announce that idea in abstract, intro & conclusion: refer to it in title Follow style, structure of papers published in journal you have in mind If more ideas or themes come to mind: split it off for future publications

17 Re-writing Be prepared to re-write ad nauseam Go through several revisions, feedback from colleagues, supervisors, native speakers (if you are not), reviewers, editors. Follow suggestions from editors Welcome useful suggestions but make sure you remain coherent & consistent If you disagree with reviewers suggestions: make a case to the editor Be self-critical, but not to the point of paralysis

18 What to do with rejected papers? Read rejection letter (or first para), take deep breath, dont send angry impulsive emails Return to it when youve calmed down (couple of days?) Take criticism into account, maybe change angle of the paper, focus on strongest points, if necessary rework design & analysis Submit to another journal See it as new project Aim for a slightly less prestigious journal

19 Dont put all your eggs in the same basket Work on different projects simultaneously If one fails it isnt a total disaster! Have studies at different stages of completion Collaborate in other people projects (but dont end up doing all the work)

20 Moral standards Establish a reputation of a reliable & honest researcher (always acknowledge your sources) Be prepared to give advice to those who seek advice from you Accept to review papers from journals or chapters in edited volumes Stick to deadlines Dont be pretentious, dont take your work too seriously Be optimistic and friendly with colleagues

21 Ethical standards As a reviewer, make sure your give constructive criticism together with your honest opinion Never be nasty or dogmatic If you guessed who reviewed your paper and you meet that person: dont start talking about the paper unless the reviewer starts about it Dont cite or use data of a paper you have been asked to review If you wish to contact the author/s, ask the editor to pass on the message

22 Final recommendations Research is fun! Publish and flourish! (its a game really) Writing up requires patience & perseverance: it is worth the effort! Nobody is perfect: everybody sweats! Be thankful of the reviewer who sends you a 10 page report with criticism & comments: that person has spent a lot of time and effort on your work (and it may be a major name, who might start referring to your work)

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