All 9 entries tagged Publishing

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January 31, 2012

Let me relax: By Sruti

Its pleasing and relaxing, indeed. Its just like a burden is released. After spending a couple of months working hard and with extensive thoughts, finally I managed to submit a journal paper only yesterday. For the time being, I dont want to worry about the fate of the paper, i.e., whether it will be accepted or not, rather, I want to relax now, simply relax at least for a day.

Following submission of a paper, I always prefer to organise the various files including pictures, sourcecode, etc. at the right place, so that I can easily find them if the referees suggest for changes. The comments of the referees are usually very constructive and jenuine, and helps to enhance the chance of getting the paper published.

My supervisor has made significant contributions by providing valuable feedbacks at all times, and efforts to reduce the length of the paper to fit into 10 pages as the journal charges if this limit is exceeded! According to me, the page limit is also useful to maintain the quality of academic writing, although I find it very hard and time consuming to reduce. I do not exactly remember where I read this quotation "I am writing you a long letter because I do not have time to write you a short one". But, its validity is very well understood by me while shortening a paper.

After submitting the paper online together, my supervisor asked me, "Are you tensed?" I replied softly with a pleasing smile, "I am not tensed, but let me relax, sir."


July 14, 2011

When time comes for journal publications…..by Sruti

How do you feel - when you prepare a journal paper with your best effort, sometimes spending sleepless nights to think for it and receives feedback from your reviewers after couple of months either "its rejected" or "review again after major changes"?

Well, believe me, rejection at the early stage might be more beneficial. It makes you more focussed and keen for more accuracy. Moreover, its better to make the suggested changes of your referees so that the chances of the paper getting published becomes higher. The comments of the referees are very useful, indeed.

Its not actually a matter of getting disappointed - as its a learning process. Therefore, I think, its good to aim for the best journal first to get the expert reviews quicker. If its accepted, its well and fine, but if it is rejected, you can always send it to an easier journal or after making the modifications, you can send it even to a another same rated journal.

So, friends, lets take it as a challenge - After all, we are also experts! We have also novel thoughts!

We can definitely make things happen.


June 07, 2011

Epic Quest for Publication – by Ruth

Greetings, fellow postgrad researchers. My name is Ruth, I'm a first year Sociology PhD, and I'm (perhaps foolishly) attempting to get published. Unfortunately, the path to publication seems less clear with every step I take.

Let me take you back a year in order to provide some background. In the summer of 2010 I spent around three months doing little other than reading a blog and taking copious notes. I then produced an extensive MA dissertation based upon my research.

I was quite proud of the piece, and my referees seemed to think it was a rather decent too. I recieved a high mark and was recommended to publish it. I realised that a good MA dissertation isn't likely to translate directly into a good journal article, but (in the spirit of youthful naïvety and optimism) I felt enthusiastic about the work needed to bridge this gap. 

After beginning work on my PhD I returned to the MA dissertation. I revised the piece, cut it down by several thousand words, and then submitted it to a journal recommended by my supervisor. Expecting rejection (this was, after all, my very first attempt at submission) I then began work on a second article based upon ideas and data that (to my disappointment) never quite managed to make it into the original piece.

The inevitable rejePublication: the NeverEnding Storyction came, along with a wealth of useful advice and comments. The editor and reviewers were broadly positive and had lots of pleasant things to say, and I felt enthusiastic about future revisions. In the meanwhile, I chose to concentrate upon the second article, having had its abstract accepted by a journal edited by my supervisor. I felt so confident about this one: it had a clearer structure, sharper analysis and a more thorough interrogation of the literature. Or so I felt.

It turns out that nepotism will only get you so far (my inner moralist is loving this). I've just received a second rejection, with my supervisor arguing that the piece was more muddled and less defined than the first. Amusingly, one of the more critical reviewers said that I should submit a new version of the second article to a journal that she just happens to edit, but it would need completely re-writing first.

None of this is entirely unexpected, but I'm feeling a little deflated. I expected rejections, and I expected revisions, but the impression I'm getting is that I need to sit down and write something entirely new from scratch for the umpteenth time.

I can deal with this - in fact I just had a terribly excited conversation with my supervisor about ideas for a new paper taking my analysis in a quite different direction - but I'm sad to have moved so far away from the original piece I wanted to publish: a work that's internally consistent and works in its own right but is way too bulky for most journals.


June 06, 2011

My non existent journal article – by Izzy

I am attempting (and failing spectacularly) to write a journal article at the moment. I have heard from several friends that writing a blog can help unlock writers block, now I am dubious but the journal article couldn’t be going any slower so here goes… My name is Izzy and I am a first year PhD student in sociology.

A few months ago in March I spoke at a conference in Leicester. It was an interdisciplinary conference on youth culture so I thought my MA dissertation on girls’ consumption of celebrity culture was a good fit. However I was the only interdisciplinary part of the conference and everyone else was from English (and had read the books they were analysing) nevertheless it was a fun day and I really enjoyed speaking. So when they emailed me to say they were putting together a special edition of the journal Peer English and they would like everyone who spoke to write an article I jumped at the chance. How hard could it be?! I had written 11, 000 words for my dissertation all I needed to do was get rid of 6000 useless words et voila. That is not how it works.

You see my dissertation informed my ideas for my PhD but after spending 7 months working on my PhD upgrade my ideas have changed.Reading back over my dissertation is horrible; I have phrased sentences badly, ignored massive sections of literature and parts of my analysis don’t really make sense. The quick copy and paste idea I had is gone and 5000 words seem like an awful lot. Now the July deadline, which felt so far away, is creeping closer…


May 18, 2011

Interview etiquette – by Nic

Frost Nixon

I was really pleased at the start of this week. In connection with a journal proposal, I'd contacted two writers I admire, hoping to interview them. To my delight, they both agreed.

Then I started worrying. While I've done journalism-style interviews, I've never used the process in my academic work. So I thought I'd throw my doubts and concerns open to the PhD Life blog - guys, rally round!

  1. Am I compromizing my critical distance by talking to practitioners? (This might seem like a stupid question, but it's a genuine concern in the humanities.)
  2. How open should I make my questions? Do I guide the interview, or do I let it run where the interviewee wants to go?
  3. How much of my interviewee's time should I be taking up? They're busy people - do I try to limit myself to a certain amount of questions?

For those of you who've done lots of interviews for your doctoral work, these probably seem like silly concerns. I'd really like your advice, and any do's and don't's you might have picked up along the way.

[tap, tap] Er...is this thing on?


April 06, 2011

The One Where Twitter Helps With My Thesis – by Lauren

Can we use Twitter as a research tool?

Micro-blogging social network site Twitter has hit the headlines a few times this year, and it seems that one can't escape it's endless plugging by news teams and current affairs shows urging you to 'follow' them. But aside from celebrity stalking and sharing hilarious cat videos, could Twitter actually be a useful tool in seeing your thesis through to completion?

I certainly think so, and aside from inane 'tweets' about what I'm having for dinner (sea bass tonight) and rants about door-to-door salesmen, I use my Twitter profile and feed as a research tool, instant feedback forum and subject news updater. Here are just a few ways in which I use Twitter in relation to my PhD:

Asking Questions

Unlike other social networks, where you might just be asking your friends, Twitter can put your question out to a much wider net of people. As it's a micro-blogging service, if your tweets are unprotected, then they can be visible to anybody. Add in the useful (and tremendously fun) 'hashtags' (a way of marking your tweets as being about a certain subject so that they are easily searchable) and you have the potential for your queries and ponderances to reach a wide circle of magical helpers, not necessarily just those who 'follow' you.

For example, when writing, I have used Twitter like a 'live' thesaurus, asking the Twitterverse 'what's another word for x?'. It's lovely to then get considered responses (usually from more than one person), that offer help – a really good way of making you feel less 'alone' when you're in the depths of a day of writing.

As proof of the power of Twitter, six minutes ago, when I started writing this blog, I tweeted the following:

      Hey, twitter, help me out here - what's the most memorable Friends episode? #help #questions #PhD

I'm currently writing a chapter on sitcom, and struggling to deal with the immense familiarity that I have with many Friends episodes, and wanted to get a picture of how common this level of familiarity is, and which episodes were particularly afflicted with it. Six minutes later, I've had four replies, from three different people, each giving me suggestions of memorable episodes. Furthermore, the people replying have now started a discussion, as one of them can hardly remember the episode suggested as most memorable by another...so I've managed to use Twitter to get a debate going that relates directly to the text I'm researching at the moment!

I find it kind of like a real-time, intelligent Google, but with actual people on the other end. I have both helped people, and asked for help in this way, and every time it is so rewarding to contribute to what has the potential to be an exciting online research culture.

Sharing

I also find Twitter great fun for sharing – not just those amusing videos and news stories that annoy me – but bits of my own work and ideas, or things that I stumble across in articles and books. This is especially fun when you're writing, or reading, and come across ideas or phrasings that are just too neat, humorous or downright absurd to keep to yourself. At those rare and brilliant times when research is actually fun, it's nice to be able to shout it to the world (and, for some reason, it seems much less like boasting than when it's on Facebook...).

Resource Gathering and Keeping Up

As a growing number of organisations, research projects and initiatives seek to expand their online presence, more and more of them are appearing on Twitter. It's great to be able to 'follow' other academics (both established, early career and postgraduates) too see what they're up to, and to monitor the progress of research that interests you. Initiatives like Film Studies for Free (@filmstudiesff), which use Twitter to share links to open access publications in the subject area, are invaluable to have on your home feed – and I'd be really interested to hear of similar useful resources in other subject areas too.


We all know that writing up can be an isolating experience, and I think perhaps the best thing about Twitter is being able to keep yourself and your research in touch with the wider world as you plod along. The only downside? As if I really need another procrastination tool!

Does anyone else use Twitter or other social networks in this way? Are you tempted to try? Do you have any recommendations for useful people/organisations to 'follow'? Comment away!

(P.S. I've now had 19 replies to my Friends question...and if you care to join in, come follow me @toomanydresses)


February 24, 2011

Academia.edu – by Pete

I just received a flurry of e-mails into my inbox, all with the same message:

Someone just searched for you on Google.

If you sign up to academia.edu, this is the kind of thing you get quite a lot. It's essentially the academic version of Facebook - you create a profile and upload your CV, conference papers, publications, research interests etc. You then have the option to "follow" other people's work, get updates on their activity and so forth. I've been finding it very time-consuming to keep it up to date, and I'm a bit wary about posting free-for-all versions of my papers up there, so I'd essentially written it off as a useful tool.

However, I am surprised by its ability to tell you when someone has googled you - and, not only that, but what country this person is from and what their search terms were. So, the one I just received tells me that someone in the UK googled the title of a conference paper I gave last year. Looking back through my alerts, there are a couple of UK and - randomly - German searches for my name, but I've also found out that people googling the title of one of the plays I'm working on also get directed to my academia account. It can tell me that if you google "researching Shakespeare", I'm the third hit. Suddenly there's a purpose to it - I can see how my online presence is being used, what the useful pages are, and how I'm appearing to the world. Inevitably, when you appear on conference programmes and the like, people are going to start looking you up to see what your research is about - and academia.edu's become a useful tool for finding out where they're looking.

Does anyone else use academia.edu at all? Any tips for making more effective use of it? Or is it just something else to procrastinate with?


February 03, 2011

Selling Yourself – by Pete

Bill Hicks once said "If anyone here is in marketing or advertising ... kill yourself." For a lot of us working in the liberal arts, those are sentiments with which we can identify. There's something sordid about the process of "selling" research, particularly in a climate where the price of education is looking to rise steeply.

Yet one of the messy realities of being a PhD student is that, at some point, we have to start selling ourselves. While we're all very aware of the transcendent importance of our own research (that's why we devote so many years to it, right?), we eventually have to persuade other people that it's worth reading, it's worth publishing, it's worth buying. There's no such thing, you could argue, as transcendent, transparent value. That's why even the viva is referred to as a "defence" - you have to fight for it.

I was at a careers talk in the Research Exchange today, at which it was repeatedly emphasised that the jobs go to the people who push themselves forward as much as possible - who have a well-maintained electronic presence, who call universities asking about jobs, who make things happen for themselves. Similarly, I had a conversation with a publisher the other day who admitted there's nothing she hates more than modest academics who don't want to risk "overselling" their own work. Those are the ones, she said, who get the most rejections - because a publisher does not have the time to coax the importance of a piece of work from the academic for them.

All this is great if you're a naturally pushy, confident person, but what if you're not? How do you get over the feeling that you're being arrogant or immodest in daring to tell people that you've got something to offer?

My own solution has been to take advantage of the platforms Warwick has for getting your name out there electronically. Having a good e-portfolio and blog has a great many advantages: people stumble across you if they're searching for things in your research area; people attending the same conferences as you will look you up; publishers and editors see samples of your work, which can lead to offers to review and contribute more significant pieces; and, after a while, you'll find that people you've never met will have heard of you. Warwick websites come up very high in google searches, so take advantage while you're here!

More importantly though, I don't think we're told often enough that it's OK to spend time on the platform of your research as well as the content. Presumably, we all write because we want to be read, and so there's nothing wrong with considering your audience and how they're going to find your work in the first place. Once you think about it like that, it stops being about "selling" anything - it's just research exchange, but on a scale that'll get you known.


January 25, 2011

Who? – by Paula

Writing about web page /researchexchange/entry/how_many_people/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

Ufffff! After endless hours in front of my laptop, reading and reading... writing and writing. I wonder how many people will be interested in reading my thesis? My supervisor? He has to read it. He has no choice. The external examiner? Well! He will be paid to do it. But who would like to read it? My friends? I doubt. My family? Poor them. I can’t keep torturing them.....

So am I writing to a stranger? Someone nameless? Someone I have never seen in my life? Isn´t that awkward?!

So before we go further, I need to tell you, Mr. (s) Whoever-you- are, you should contact me immediately after reading my thesis and tell me how great is my research and how much I have changed your life.

I am above all interested in making an impactonsomeone's life. This is what drives me in this endless route.

And now dedicated to my PhD thesis- Fine Young Cannibals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkMxyYkVYug&feature=fvst


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