Thursday, 30 January 2014

Advancing Academic Writing Among Librarians hosted by NUI Maynooth on Monday 27th of January.

I attended this seminar in an effort to get myself motivated into trying to get some element of my thesis published, rather then letting in languish on my hard drive / USB drive/ Drop box etc.

These are my personal - and probably flawed notes, so it's important to note that the presentations are online at 

Journal of Academic Librarianship - Professor Arant-Kaspar

made the point that only 25% of submissions to the Journal of Academic librarianship are accepted, so it's important not to be disheartened. She recommends approaching three journals regarding publishing and acting on their feedback to improve your likelihood of successful submission, which may result in several redrafts. More red on your paper indicates a higher level of editorial interest in your paper so don't be disheartened. 

It was also highlighted that it is important to look at the publishing venue you have chosen, read the publication in question to identify the style of writing and subject matter addressed, and always check for the title's style guidelines for authors. Additionally it was pointed out that there is no harm in publishing outside of your discipline.

Contacting the editor to see if your topic is of interest to the publication can help identify where you should be submitting in the first place, and avoid unnecessary disappointment.

The Journal of Academic Librarianship is looking for topics which are timely and important from author who are experts and can illustrate that the know the area to be address by the paper well. Papers should be well written and engaging, incorporating innovative ideas. This could include flow charts, infographics, data set etc. so long as it contributes to the profession.

The need to be strategic was highlighted ..
Perhaps publish from a conference paper.
Work in an ongoing manner with several publications, look at calls for papers, and solicit feedback from editor after rejection.

If you are not ready to just into writing a paper proper tos tart with, you could try out some of the alternative roles:

  1. Peer reviewer
  2. Editorial board
  3. Book reviewer
  4. Bibliographer
  5. Columnist
Tools you might use: 
  • Google docs
  • Evernote 
  • Excel
  • spss
  • Citation anyalsis
In relation to collaborative writing it was made clear that it is of the utmost importance to identify the lead author and other roles at the beginning of the writing process. 

An Leabharlann / The Library

 is looking for ideas, inspiration, creativity, the spark of genius in papers submitted. They publish articles, conference reports obituaries and reviews. They expressly publish on library related topics only. Author should write from experience and go through several drafts before approaching an editor. Get someone you trust to read in advance of any submission.

Reason for rejection of a paper include: 

Failure to read guidelines

  • Failure to read back issues to identify the style of the publication
  • Non-library topic
  • Bad presention
  • Weak methodology
  • Out of date bibliography and references
  • Poorly written 
  • Poor grammar

Suggested prerequisites for writing

Topic of interest
Confidence evident in writing
Skills / facility for writing

Length of submissions - words

  • Review         450
  • Obituary       650
  • Conference report 650-700
  • Articles        1,500-4,000 
    •  (longer can be in parts) 

Mary Antonesa

Saranne Magennis - AISHE Journal

AISHE are looking for input from librarians especially reports on practice or innovations. It is open access. The audience is multi-disciplinary and international. Reflective and descriptive pieces of work wit a decisive purpose are welcomed. 

Successful writers write about what matters to them, in understandable language. However, the technicalities of writing are often the reason an articles is rejected or referred back to the author. (Referencing, clarity of language, exceeds limits, failure to meet deadlines)

Aspiring writers are encouraged to submit an abstract, and charged to remember that 36% of the submission successfully make it through peer-review. 

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