It’s obvious isn’t it that your research should get published? The sheer amount of time and effort spent planning, investigating and researching; of course you will want to get it published. You want to set your career on the right path and be acknowledged for your work. You’ve read hundreds of articles, conference papers, project reports, blogs, and tweets but faced with the reality of writing your own, how do you do it? How do you turn all that work into something that a publisher might want to publish? What do publishers look for in a journal article or book? Where is the best place to publish? What are the processes involved in getting published?
Writing a paper or article for a journal or a conference is a good place to start, but some topics in the longer term may be best suited as a book or book chapter. The choice will influence how you write, what you can or can’t include, and the style that you use. Finding out about this is important, so when you plan your writing, visit the websites of potential publishers, journals or conferences for author information and guidance. This could save you a lot of time spending hours preparing the wrong kind of paper. You may want to find out more about specific writing styles: look for suitable courses, talks by publishers or check out some resources via the University Library Academic Skills Hub or on their website.
Research outputs can vary so it is helpful to look at other possible avenues for publishing. Your data, for instance, has anyone mentioned doing a ‘data paper’? So much hard work has gone into collecting, analysing and interpreting your data. It can seem a waste to simply store it somewhere. Over the last few years there has been a greater emphasis on getting better value out of data through deposit, enabling other people to have access to the data produced by your research. New specialist journals have focussed on papers about data and enabling researchers to get credit. As a relatively new form there is less guidance on this area, so read some data papers and find out from someone who has actually written one, there are some around the University.
Another choice that you will need to make is the form of publishing you want to use. Who do you want to be able to see your research – just a select few or a wider audience? Considerable debate has taken place over the last decade about the impact of research on the wider community; this has included the model of publishing. Open forms of publishing have developed and new opportunities continue to appear. Examples of this include open access journals, where all papers are available to readers immediately and hybrid journals, where some papers are open and others are not. The Open Library of the Humanities, launched in 2013, is an example. This service offers opportunities to publish material openly from a range of disciplines: classics, modern languages, sociology, anthropology and digital humanities.
Launching as part of the University of Southampton Festival of Doctoral Research, the Library has organised a series of events entitled: ‘Getting Published in…’ that will explore some of these areas. Book now for:
- Getting Published in … a Book or a Journal
- Getting Published in… a Data Journal
- Getting Published in … the Open Library of Humanities
Dorothy Byatt, Research Engagement Librarian