Publishing Workshop: The Do's and Don'ts of Publishing
On 25th November 2016, the Political Studies Association, in partnership with Elsevier, held a Publishing Workshop, free to all members. The workshop was well attended by PSA Early Career Members who were introduced to the PSA's journals, heard from Elsevier staff about the Peer Review process as well as how to plan, structure and submit journal articles. Jon Tonge spoke about the REF and how early career researchers fit into the REF framework. Martin Coward and Angie Wilson gave advice from an editor's perspective before reviewing a manuscript which had been chosen to be reviewed at the workshop. The manuscript was engaged with theoretically and empirically and the author was given practical advice as to how the paper could be improved for submission. We also heard from Elsevier about how to promote your research, the future of publishing and different metrics used to measure impact of research.
Decide if you have enough data to write a paper
Ask your supervisor and colleagues about their publishing experience and for help
Think about which in journals the academic debate is happening and how you can contribute
Think about the readership of the journal – are they people you want to reach?
Plan your article before you begin writing
See the guide for authors once you’ve chosen which journal to submit to – this will have guidelines for formatting, ways to submit and other important criteria and will save you time in the long-run
Use academic language and the correct terminology for your field – but always be clear and concise
Have a strong abstract, introduction and conclusion – take a long time getting these right
Think about criteria for the REF and the wider impact of your research on the world
Be patient. Remember the voluntary nature of article reviewing and this is a long process. Journals often have to go through several potential reviewers before they find two academics who will agree to review your article
Submit an article to more than one journal at the same time – the editors will often ask the same people to review
Go over the word limit – try to go a bit under as the reviewers will come back with suggestions and part of the argument may have to be reworked or moved
Be dejected if your article is rejected – most often this is because the article isn’t a good fit for the journal
Say No if you’re asked to review an article – this of course isn’t a rule but you should be committed to the publishing process which relies on people giving up their time to review articles
Ignore emails or requests from the journal after you’ve been published. It’s important to foster good working relationships. They may ask you to write a blog post or contribute to a special issue.