Publish or perish, that’s what they say. However, getting published is not so easy, particularly for early career researchers. As our last event of the academic year, we invited SAGE editor Dr. Bronia Flett to give us some advice on how to get our work published!
Dr. Flett made a very interactive presentation and answered many questions during and after her talk. She covered books, academic articles and also alternative forms of publishing. It was great to see the Research Hive full of colleagues from all different schools! If you missed the talk, don’t worry. Below you will find 5 essential tips given by Dr. Flett. You can also access the full recording of the talk HERE.
- Think about the reasons why you want to publish. These may include academic progress (finding an academic job!); disseminating knowledge; self-fulfillment; etc. This is important because your main reason to publish indicates that kind of publication you should be aiming for. For instance: does your field valorises more books or journal articles? What are the standard requirements for getting an academic position in your field?
- If you are thinking of publishing a book, know exactly what kind of book it will be! Researchers can easily neglect this step, because for many of us ‘a book is a book is a book`. From the editor’s perspective, however, it is essential to know if the book is a textbook, a monograph, a trade book, so on and so forth. Knowing what kind of book you are trying to publish is very important in order to find the right publisher. SAGE, for instance, is particularly interested in textbooks.
- Early career researchers can also dream high! If your feel passionate about teaching and have an engaging writing style, you really can consider writing a book aiming at a large audience of students. As an encouraging example, Dr. Flett mentioned the young scholar Andy Fields, whose books on statistics are hugely successful. He started his collaboration with SAGE as a PhD Researcher.
- No one will publish your thesis as it is. Sadly so. If you are considering turning your thesis into a book, be prepared for major revision. In particular, when publishing monographs publishers tend to be more interested in your findings than in your methodology. So don’t be too sad if the publisher asks you to cut or reduce your methodology Chapter.
- Explore alternative ways of publishing! As the competition for academic jobs increases, it becomes more and more important to think about the impact of your research and to build your academic profile. Even though some alternative forms of publishing are not officially recognised as academic (e.g in the REF), they significantly increase the reach of your work in general. For instance, Dr. Flett is editor for the award-winning SAGE Research Methods, which publishes methodology cases in a non-conventional form.
All in all it was a very informative talk! Judging by the comments of the colleagues there, I believe it was extremely useful. Find more about SAGE Research Methods HERE. You can contact Dr. Bronia Flett via Bronia.Flett@sagepub.co.uk or @broniaSAGE on Twitter.
Massive thanks to Dr. Bronia Flett and to everyone involved in the organisation of this event!