Let’s be honest, most of us are excited about the idea of being published. We’d like to see a beautiful book with our name on it or our own listing in one of the online markets. But are such dreams too ambitious? How do we understand when it’s time to write a book? How do we get the necessary experience and skills to produce something worth reading and buying? In other words, how to start and what our first steps should be? There are many possible answers to this question, but one of them seems obvious: we can write an article for a journal. We can write a work in a particular niche that is most familiar to us.
In every academic field, there are respectable journals that have a certain impact on their audience. Of course, it’s almost impossible to be published by the most prestigious journals on the first try. On the other hand, there are plenty of options for getting a priceless experience. For instance, if you’re a Ph.D. student, you may want to turn your attention to peer-reviewed journals that are focused on students’ papers. This is the beginner level that will allow you to get valuable feedback from professionals who are perfectly familiar with your field. We suggest thinking about the University of Essex journals and Essex Student Research Online that maintains the same high standards of academic publishing.
Why Need You to Publish Your Works?
First of all, publishing delivers you the satisfaction of sharing your ideas with others, however, there are also more serious reasons to start publishing your works in journals. For example, such a practice gives you an opportunity to include a specific line in your CV. Not only needs your CV to have as many lines as possible, but it also must reflect your academic achievements, even if they are not significant at the moment. Many reputable employers take into account the data from the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The REF is a really important thing for most research departments in various universities. Publications of authors from different academic departments are evaluated in order to provide a ranking for each particular discipline. If you’re a graduated academic who is looking for a job, prepare for the fact that employers will check the list of your publications, including pending ones. They likely will be interested in assessing your possible contribution to their REF ranking.
Of course, there is a chance that you’re overwhelmed enough with your current studies, so writing journal articles and researches may seem an unnecessary thing for you. The truth is, preparing publications is not always a difficult task. You can work with your own material that you’ve used in various assignments. Just re-work some parts of your Ph.D. dissertation and turn them into a separate research article. If you really want to build your academic career, it’s especially important to get feedback on your own works and listen to the reviews of experts. We also suggest revising your papers, taking into account suggestions of professionals. Even though revising work may turn out to be time-consuming and even somewhat painful, in the end, you will realize that your paper is much better after you changed it. Moreover, such an approach allows you to learn something new.
There is another reason why you have to publish your own works. Publishing will allow you to make first steps towards building your academic reputation. If you’ve got an interesting finding, why not get out there and share your discoveries with the academic world? Various academic conferences allow you to present your works to a broader audience, and the results of participating in such conferences may turn out to be surprisingly good for you. In addition, the whole process doesn’t take too long. In just a few months, you can make a presentation, receive feedback, revise your work, re-write it, submit it again, make a new presentation, revise your work again, and your paper will be printed. Such a tactic also adds a few new lines to your CV.
Conferences provide you with countless opportunities. You’ll meet many researchers engaged in the same work as you. Perhaps, you’ll get a chance to participate in their work as the second author or to find a big project that will become the most impressive line in your CV.
“What If I’m Not Ready?”
However, many students tend to be critical of their abilities and skills. Many of them just think they are not good enough to start working on something serious. They are afraid of being rejected and failing their first attempts. Of course, it’s hard to deny that there is a chance the academic community won’t be excited about your work. You must be prepared for various critical reviews and rejections, but the truth is, these all are parts of every researcher’s career. You shouldn’t take critical comments personally. Instead, you must understand that all reviews contain some important information that you need to consider. You can learn from the reviews and improve your skills.
There is a great approach that may help you overcome the fear of being rejected. You can become a reviewer yourself. Not only will it help you understand the specifics of reviewing, but it also may help you improve your writing and understand what are your own weak sides. Even if you’re focused on your own research, we suggest spending some time reviewing papers related to your area of study. You will learn more about critical analysis and realize that there is someone else who’s going through the same difficulties as you. It’s a very useful practice that will teach you to be constructive and clearly explain your arguments. Not only need you to determine what the problem is, but you also have to provide suggestions and explain how such a problem could be solved. One day, you might receive a letter from a rejected author who will thank you for reviewing his or her paper and providing several pages of useful comments.
When reviewing works written by other authors, you need to keep in mind that such a job is usually unpaid. You also have to prepare for the negative reaction from authors who will blame you for almost everything. They will complain about delays in receiving a review, about your tone, and comments. Nevertheless, this job is another important line in your CV! Many researchers who worked as editors for a few years agree that it was an invaluable experience. You will read many outstanding papers and learn to work with reviewers’ comments, making sure that the reviewers write their comments properly, addressing necessary problems and highlighting really important details. You will also learn many important things about formatting. For example, you will realize that 36 columns of an extremely important table are unreadable in A5 unless you have a microscope. You will see how important is a number of words and that changing the page size or font size doesn’t work: you just need to get rid of the extra words.
The world of academic publishing seems demanding and hostile unless you enter it with your own work and start moving towards your academic goals. Publishing takes a lot of time and practice, but the result is worth efforts. Don’t wait and don’t hesitate to start writing your own article!
Guest Author: John Brahms
John Brahms is a tutor and a creator of online project. He has been assessing various online writing services and providing reviews on them for six years. Also he shares useful tips on different subjects. It may be education, publishing, or marketing.