Publishing Online

In the following chapter I discuss delays in the publication process. Factors such as these can affect the choice of journal. It may well be two years or more before a submitted article finally appears in print in some journals. In these days of rapid communication, such delays are unwarrantable. So publishing your paper (or a provisional version of it) on your web site might be a sensible option. Indeed, placing your article in an open-access national repository might be a better procedure. At...

Abbreviations for American states used in citing references

(Source Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5 th edn) (pp. 217 18) (2001). Washington American Psychological Association. Reprinted with permission.) The following cities are used in citing places of publication without their states because they are well known in their own right Amsterdam London Paris Tokyo Baltimore Los Angeles Philadelphia Vienna

An Example

While writing this section of Academic Writing and Publishing, I coincidentally received a copy of a paper by Slatcher and Pennebaker (2006). This paper was about the effects of one of the partners of a dating couple writing either neutral or strongly emotional letters to the other one about their relationship. The paper concluded that the participants who wrote the emotional letters were significantly more likely to be dating their romantic partners three months later than were the writers of...

Author index

American Psychological Association 29, 30, 171, 172, 189 Anderson, C. A. 90, 92 Andrews, R. 90, 92 Antelman, K. 141 Austin-Wells, V. 96, 98 Bahr, A. H. 169, 172 Bainbridge, B. 14 Bar-Ilan, J. 132, 136 Barjak, F. 175, 180, 181 Bayley, L. 33, 35 Benos, J. 153, 158 Bensman, J. 65 Bensman, S. J. 142 Bjork, B-C. 131, 136 Boice, R. 166, 167,168 Bornmann, L. 158 Bressler, M. 116, 121 Brown, L. D. 95, 98 Brown, T. 155, 158 Budd, J. M. 175, 181 Buehring, G. C. 29, 30 Bunn, F. 34, 35 Caruso, M. 146, 150...

Book reviews

Book reviews play an important part in academic communication. Most academic journals publish book reviews in addition to their articles and, indeed, some journals publish nothing but book reviews. Book reviews are a special form of academic writing. They have well-known structures with familiar components. When writing book reviews, colleagues use a variety of phrases that carry hidden meanings (see Table 3.7.1). Book reviews differ from academic articles submitted for publication because, in...

Citing Page Numbers For Quotations In The Text

There is some debate in the literature about the necessity for citing in the text the page numbers of a quotation, table or figure from another article when giving a reference to it. Generally speaking, this is done more frequently in papers in the arts than it is in the sciences, and studies have shown that many science journals are lax in this respect (e.g. Donovan, 2006 Henige, 2006). Clearly the level of detail required for an in-text reference is a matter of debate, but the actual page...

Comments To The Authors

As noted earlier, referees are not always consistent in what they recommend. Different referees have different opinions, and there has been much research on the reliability and validity of peer review systems (e.g. see Godlee and Strength of supporting data evidence ___ _ Originality of ideas and approach ___ _ Completeness of discussion ___ _ Intelligibility to non-specialists ___ _ Accept_ Accept with minor revisions_ Re-submit after major revision_ Reject_ Please add any comments for the...

Constructing tables

The clarity of tables can be improved by paying attention to their size, complexity and organisation, as well as to the captions and the prose descriptions of the tables that appear in the appropriate parts of the text. Table 3.5.1 The percentage of articles containing tables and graphs in four different journals in 2005 Table 3.5.1 The percentage of articles containing tables and graphs in four different journals in 2005 containing containing containing Large tables and figures are...

Contents

1.1 The nature of academic writing 3 2.12 Responding to referees 67 3.8 Letters to the editor 123 3.9 Annotated bibliographies 127 Other aspects of academic writing 129 4.1 Finding, keeping and disseminating information 131 4.2 Choosing where to publish 137 4.3 Delays in the publishing process 143 4.5 Sex differences in academic writing 161 4.6 Procrastination and writer's block 165 4.7 Collaborative writing 169 4.8 Productive writers 175 A.1 Guidelines for academic writing 183 A.2 Guidelines...

Delays In Editing The Text

When publishers receive the author's text, it is usually submitted for copy-editing. The role of the copy-editor is to check the manuscript to ensure that it follows the correct style for setting the references (in the text and in the list) includes all the references cited in the text in the reference list (and that there are no omissions or additions), and vice versa is consistent in its punctuation for lists (such as this one) contains no typographical or spelling errors reads well in terms...

Disseminating The Results Of Doctoral Research

New technology encourages the dissemination of doctoral research. However, theses are not normally written in a style that is appropriate for dissemination in conferences, journals or textbooks. As Luey (1990) points out, 'Textbooks differ in the level of difficulty, in format, and in the degree of illustrations . . .' (p. 121) as well as in their audiences. The same is true of articles. Many of the chapters in this text-book are based upon previously published articles. Some of these were...

Electronic Theses

It is now conventional for Ph.D. writers to use word processing facilities to write their texts. In addition, it is getting more common to produce an electronic version of the thesis. Apparently, more than 50,000 doctoral theses and 100,000 master's theses are produced annually in this way in the USA (Moxley, 2003). Some universities are progressing in this direction in the UK, although there is much debate over the necessary regulations. Currently, there is discussion about providing an...

Evaluation Forms

Figure 4.4.1 shows one such evaluation form. This form is fairly typical, but different journals use different forms, and some ask referees to rate more features than do others. All of these forms, however, require the referee to make one of the following overall recommendations to the editor accept with minor revisions consider a resubmission after major revisions have been made in the light of the referees' comments (the editor alone might consider the resubmission, or the revised paper might...

Finding keeping and disseminating information

The World Wide Web has revolutionised how academics find information. In writing this book I have not had to venture far from my office. The information that I have used to write each chapter has mainly come from books on my shelves, papers stored in my filing cabinets, previous papers on the topic that I have written, and papers located in databases and electronic journals on the Web. In searching these latter resources, I have roamed well beyond my own discipline. Only occasionally have I had...

Further Reading

Scholarly book reviewing in the Social Sciences and Humanities The flow of ideas within and amongst disciplines, Westport, CT Greenwood Press. Hyland, K. (2004). Disciplinary discourses Social interactions in academic writing. Ann Arbor, MI University of Michigan Press. Nicolaisen, J. (2002). The scholarliness of published peer reviews A bibliometric study of book reviews in selected social science fields. Research Evaluation, 11(3), 129 40.

Guidance on content

The Journal of the Medical Library Association, for example, provides potential book reviewers with lengthy notes on the aims and scope of the journal, together with a paragraph on what the content of the review might contain Reviews should contain a brief overview of the scope and content of the book being reviewed so that readers can determine the book's interest to them. Reviewing each chapter of a book is not necessary. For a research or historical work,...

Guidelines for academic writing

Revised list from Hartley, J. (1997). Writing the thesis. In N. Graves & V. Varma (Eds.), Working for a doctorate (pp. 97-100), London Routledge. 1 Keep in mind your readers they may not be experts Imagine that you are writing for a fellow colleague - or for one of your students - who is familiar with the conventions of your discipline, but who does not know your area. Readers need to be able to grasp what you did and what you found, and to follow your arguments easily. 2 Use the first...

How Often Are People Asked To Referee

Different editors have different conceptions of how many papers referees might reasonably be asked to do. Some argue that, as each paper needs about three referees, including the editor, an author might be expected to referee two papers for every one that they submit. Others think that editors should not try to overwork referees and, therefore, do not ask them to do more than, say, two papers per year. These editors, though, tend to forget that referees might referee for more than one journal....

Impact And Other Factors

Researchers are encouraged these days to submit their articles to journals with high 'impact factors'. Such journals, it is claimed, are of better quality than those with low impact factors, and this will stand them in better stead in any evaluation of their research (however this is done). The impact factor of a journal is found by dividing the number of citations in one year to articles in the previous two years in that particular journal by the number of articles published by that journal in...

Letters to the editor

Sometimes it strikes you, when reading a recently published paper, that the authors have failed to include some important variable, made a statistical error or omitted a key research finding. One way of responding to this is to write a letter to the editor, or a short note for publication. Letters to the editor typically follow the following format or 'moves' (Magnet and Carnet, 2006). They remind the reader of the contents of the paper to be commented on raise the explicit criticism give...

New Technology And Productivity

Barjak (2006a 2006b) has examined the influence of new technology on productivity. In his 2006a paper, Barjak outlined two ways in which new technology can impact on scientific academic writing. He notes that 1 In general, more information is available over computer networks, and the search for, and retrieval of, information is faster. 2 Access to remote instruments and data sets is easier and faster. 1 Learning to use new technology can slow people down. 2 There is a problem with information...

Postscript Problems For Nonnative Speakers Of English

The IMRAD format is helpful for non-native speakers and writers, in the sense that anything that has a structure is easier to deal with than anything that has not. Unfortunately, it is more difficult for non-native speakers of English to read and to write in the appropriate style than it is for native speakers. Regrettably, methods of automatic translation have not yet progressed sufficiently for us to be able to turn scientific articles written in different languages into formal scientific...

Problems Of Measurement

In most of the studies of productive authors listed above, productivity was measured by the number of publications, rather than their quality. For example, in Hartley and Branthwaite's (1989) study carried out before impact factors and research assessment exercises the participants' total productivity scores were arrived at by asking them how many items they had published in various categories over three years. These numbers were then multiplied by various weightings e.g. books were given five...

Procrastination and writers block

As noted in Chapter 1.1, the texts that we read do not display individual differences in the approaches of their authors. Nor do they show how different writers feel about writing. Texts may be written with gusto and joy, or with painstaking agony, but this is not apparent from their surface features. Madigan et al. (1996) show this in their study. Here, the essays of psychology students were grouped into three categories (with about thirty essays in each). These were written by students with...

Productive writers

Some write a good deal more. What motivates these writers How do they do it Do we want to do it too There have been several studies of productive writers - but only a few recent ones that discuss writers enmeshed in new technology. The somewhat earlier studies fall into two main, but sometimes overlapping, categories 1 studies of the faculty in a particular department or institution to see what organisational factors are associated with high productivity and...

Proofs

The day will come when the proofs of an article that you submitted some months ago arrive unexpectedly in the post or on your screen. The proofs will be accompanied by a note 1 indicating that they need to be corrected and returned to the publishers within a day or two and 2 making dire threats about the costs of making major changes. Proofs allow the author to check the accuracy of the typesetting, especially if the text has been altered to fit the printer's house style, and possibly to make...

Prose descriptions of tables

Tables, and their contents, have to be explained to readers in the text. This can partly be done in the caption, but there is usually more to it than this. Salovey (2000) presents contrasting examples (see Table 3.5.7). He argues that the first one is 'statistics-based' and the second one 'reader-based'. In the first passage, we have no idea what was found until the end. In the second one, the findings come first. Table 3.5.6 The effects of inappropriate internal spacing in a table readers...

Reading Versus Speaking

It is important to note that the conference paper is designed to be spoken and listened to it is not a written paper. There may be a written version for the conference delegates who want one, and for other enquirers, but in the conference itself the focus is on speaking and displaying information. In this connection, Gould (1995, p. 39) remarks that humanists inevitably read their papers from a manuscript, whereas scientists speak extemporaneously from written notes. He also says that...

References

How to write and publish a scientific paper (6th edn). Cambridge Cambridge University Press. Holmes, R. (1997). Genre analysis, and the social sciences An investigation of the structure of research article discussion sections in three disciplines. English for Specific Purposes, 16(4), 321-37. Lewin, B., Fine, J. & Young, L. (2001). Expository discourse A genre-based approach to social science research texts. London Continuum. Slatcher, R. B. &...

Research and grant proposals

The refereeing process here is more like refereeing papers, but it is a good deal more demanding. A great deal is at stake when one recommends acceptance or rejection of a research proposal costing several thousands of pounds. Referees in this context have to be authorities in the field, and they should possibly decline to do the task if they think they are not. Gade et al. (2006) indicate that the reviewer's report has to be thorough, clear, specific, constructive and timely. Referees are...

Responding to referees

As noted in the postscript to Chapter 1.1, refereeing can be a lottery. Referees' comments and recommendations can vary. Consider three more referees' advice and comments to an editor about an article that I had submitted for publication Referee 1 Accept. It would be quite helpful to non-specialists to provide grade reading equivalents to the Flesch scores to give perspective. Referee 2 Accept with revision. This paper addresses an interesting and important topic . . . Despite this . . . the...

Some Problems

There are a number of problems in reviewing the literature that apply to all of the above strategies. First of all, there is what is sometimes called the 'file-drawer' problem. This relates to the fact that it is easier to publish studies that have statistically significant findings than it is to publish ones that do not, and so the latter get filed away. Torgerson (2006) calls this 'the Achilles heel' of systematic reviews, but it applies to all attempts to review the literature in any field....

Students Writing In Higher Education

A number of studies have looked to see whether or not male students write differently from female students in English university examinations. Here, there are two particular genres course-work essays done over time, and essay-examination scripts done under pressure of time. The findings for either genre are not particularly convincing. Studies in both situations have found that women do better than men in some situations, and men do better than women in others, but in both genres there seem to...

Tables And Graphs In Conference Presentations

Many of the features of tables and graphs discussed above are also relevant to their presentation in conferences. However, in conference presentations, it is best to present data drastically simplified - complexities can be covered in the talk. For conference presentations, tables and figures need to be an adequate size and to use few, possibly only two, contrasting colours (e.g. dark text on a pale background, or the reverse of this for darkened rooms). Full explanatory captions or titles on...

The Language Of Science And Academia

If we examine the text of scientific articles it is clear that there is a generally accepted way of writing them. Scientific text is precise, impersonal and objective. It typically uses the third person, the passive tense, complex terminology, and various footnoting and referencing systems. Such matters are important when it comes to learning how to write scientific articles. Consider, for example, the following advice Good scientific writing is characterised by objectivity. This means that a...

The Structure Of Scientific Articles

Research articles typically have a standard structure to facilitate communication, which is known as IMRAD (introduction, method, results and discussion), although, of course, there are variations on this basic format. The chapters that follow in Section 2 of this book elaborate on each IMRAD section in more detail. It is important to note here, of course, that this structure is actually a charade. Scientists do not proceed in the way that IMRAD implies. IMRAD is a formula for writing up, and...

The Written Text

Although the conference paper is delivered orally, it is useful to have a summary version available as a hand-out during the talk. Handouts help listeners follow the presentation and grasp its overall structure. It may be helpful to reproduce copies of any of the key PowerPoint slides, but it is unwise just to present them all in reduced size. The handout needs to be readable, and much is lost if the spoken accompaniment to the slides is omitted. The hand-out should also contain the title of...

Using Appropriate Styles And References

In most situations authors have no say in what reference system will be used, and they prepare their texts in accordance with publishers' demands. They do, however, have different aims and can use different referencing styles to match these, as shown in Table 2.10.1. Historical analysis shows that referencing styles are not fixed and predetermined, and that incoming editors can and do make changes. The British Journal of Psychology, for example, started in 1910 with a footnote system and...

Using The Information

There have been few studies of how authors integrate materials from the Internet with that published in scientific articles. Junni (2007) examined the reference lists in masters' theses in economics, psychology and mathematics, written in Finland in 1985, 1993 and 2003, and carried out semi-structured interviews with a selection of students who had completed their theses in 2003. Junni found that the average number of items in the reference lists in the economics and psychology theses had...

Who Chooses The Key Words

Table 2.4.2 shows that there are several different ways of choosing key words. The most common method (used by over fifty per cent of authors) is for them to supply as many words as they choose (within bounds), but sometimes a specified number of words is required (often about six). The next main method (used by about twenty per cent of authors) is for them to choose key words that fit into categories already prescribed by the journal's 'instructions to authors'. Thus, for example, authors...

Writing A Thesis

Writing a thesis is like writing an academic article, only worse. The thesis is much longer. Unfortunately, students normally write their thesis before they start on articles, and they only write one. Thus, thesis writers typically have less practice and are less skilled at academic writing than are the more experienced authors of papers. Furthermore, many Ph.D. students writing their theses in English are non-native speakers of the language. A thesis is much like a graduate student It has a...

Writing As A Genre

Table 4.5.1 shows some data found for men and women writing in different genres, ranging from academic text to what is often called 'women's fiction'. If you read down the table, for both of the measures 'sentence length' and 'reading ease', you will see that the texts typically get easier the further you go down the columns. If you read across the columns, you will find that there is only one significant difference out of eighteen between the average scores achieved by men and women....

Writing Book Reviews Editorial Instructions

Because book reviews are not normally refereed, editors need to make clear what they require. Thus, there are usually instructions on these matters for Table 3.7.1 The hidden meanings of phrases in book reviews Not much in this but one or two chapters worth thinking about 'A useful book for the library' Not very exciting 'The discussion is somewhat abstruse' I could not understand much of this 'For the most part this is a thorough, lucid and well-argued book but a few weaknesses can be noted....

Grammatical Constructions In Titles

Soler (2007) examined 570 titles used in articles in the biological and social sciences. Some 480 of these were from research papers, and 90 from reviews. Soler distinguished between full-sentence constructions, for example 'Learning induces a CDC2-related protein kinase' nominal group constructions, for example 'Acute liver failure caused by diffuse hepatic melanoma infiltration' compound constructions (i.e. divided into two parts, mainly by a colon), for example 'Romanian nominalizations case...

How To Select Key Words

Gbur and Trumbo (1995) published a list of ways of producing effective key words and phrases. Table 2.4.3 provides an abbreviated version. It is possible that, with future developments, all of these problems will actually disappear. As one colleague has put it, 'Inverted-full-text-Boolean indexing and online searching (with similarity algorithms and citation- Table 2.4.2 Different methods for supplying key words Authors supply them with no restrictions on the numbers allowed. Authors supply up...

General Procedures

In order to publish a book, it is useful to think first about an appropriate publisher. Some publishers will have books on similar topics in their 'list', and others won't. It might be best to look to the first kind, for they will know the market better. Then it is a good idea to check these publishers out on the Web. Each will have a homepage with details about submissions and possibly the names of their commissioning editors for the different categories of texts that they publish. A letter to...

Strategies For Presenting Results In Reviews

There are at least six ways of presenting summaries of the results of research reviews, which can be placed along a continuum of statistical precision. 1 The narrative review This is the kind of review that is typically used in this book. Writers research around a particular topic and then write a review of the field, giving their own 'take' on it, selecting evidence from whatever seems appropriate to them. This type of review is most common in text-books and popular journals. I once provided a...

Delays In Journal Publishing

Publication lags differ in different journals. Most journals now publish with each article the dates of the original submission, the revised submission and when the article was accepted for publication which can be a year or more before it appears in print. Researchers can get a good idea of publication delays by inspecting this information in recent issues of the journals that they intend to submit to. Generally speaking, it takes longer to publish articles in high-quality journals (often well...

James Hartley

Taylor& Francis Croup LONDON AND NEW YORK 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OXI4 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2008. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge's collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk. All rights reserved. No part of this book...

Structured Abstracts

Structured abstracts are typically written using five sub-headings 'background', 'aim', 'method', 'results' and 'conclusions'. Sometimes the wording of these sub-headings varies a little 'objectives' for 'aim', for example, but the meaning is much the same. Structured abstracts were introduced into medical research journals in the 1980s. Since then they have been widely used in medicine and other areas of research (Nakayama et al, 2005). In 2004, I published a narrative review of their...

General Advice

Some points to bear in mind, when writing both general and specific comments, are as follows Be courteous throughout. There is no need to be superior, sarcastic or to show off. Remember the paper that you are refereeing might have been written by a postgraduate, and it could be a first attempt at publication. Table 4.4.1 The main concerns of referees adapted with permission from Brown 2004 courtesy of The Scientist and Sense about Science, www.senseaboutscience. org Significance Are the...

Acknowledgements

Most academic articles contain acknowledgements to various sources of help received during their preparation, although one editor of my acquaintance steadfastly deletes them on the grounds that they add nothing to the content. However, I believe that it is courteous to thank sources of financial support and colleagues and referees for their help in improving articles. Slatcher and Pennebaker conclude Portions of this research were funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health MH53291...

American Historical Review Reading And Writing Book Reviews

In a recent study, I reported on my findings when I sent out an electronic questionnaire on reading and writing book reviews to groups of academics in the arts, sciences and social sciences Hartley, 2006 . Approximately fifty people in each of these groups replied. Almost two-thirds of them recalled reading a dreadful book review. Some of the things they said about such reviews were that they were pointless, uninformative, indecisive and boring a mere listing of the contents pretentious, unkind...

Move Occupying the niche

The introduction concludes in paragraph 5 with the following key phrases 'In the present study we sought to investigate the social effects of expressive writing . . .', 'Three predictions were tested. First . . .'. Slatcher and Pennebaker thus follow Swales and Feak's analysis almost line by line. It is also worth noting, in passing, that the literature review in this paper is quite short, and there are only nine references. Day and Gastel 2006 comment that, 'Introductions should supply...

The Flesch Reading Ease score

The Flesch score is now one of many easily obtained computer-based measures of text readability. The scores run from 0 to 100, and the higher the score, the easier the text. The original measure was created in 1943 by Rudolph Flesch to measure the readability of magazine articles Klare, 1963 . Basically, what current measures of the score do is to count the length of the words and the length of the sentences in a passage and compute these into a reading ease RE score Flesch, 1948 . The...

Different kinds of thesis

Paltridge 2002 described, with examples, four types of thesis, based upon an analysis of fifteen master's and fifteen Australian Ph.D. theses. These types were 1 Traditional simple Here, typically, there were six sections introduction, literature review, materials and methods, results, discussion and conclusions the IMRAD structure writ large. 2 Traditional complex Here there were more sections, for example introduction background to the study and literature review background theory and methods...

Sex differences in academic writing

In Chapter 1.1 I discussed some differences between the writing processes of individual academics. In that chapter, I did not report, nor indeed have I found, any data on sex differences in this respect. This is surprising given that there has always been an interest in differences between the sexes in terms of verbal ability. It is commonly held that women are more verbal than men. Consequently, there is considerable discussion about whether or not men and women write and speak in different...

Unsolicited book reviews

Some editors accept unsolicited reviews, provided that they meet the required standards. As one editor put it I strongly encourage unsolicited reviews. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication Others are more cautious, for example This journal does not publish unsolicited reviews. However, if you would like to be added to our database of potential reviewers, please fill in our potential reviewers data-sheet. The Hispanic American Historical Review Unsolicited book reviews are not...

Thirteen Types Of Title

1 Titles that announce the general subject, for example Designing instructional and informational text. On writing scientific articles in English. 2 Titles that particularise a specific theme following a general heading, Pre-writing The relation between thinking and feeling. The achievement of black Caribbean girls Good practice in Lambeth schools. The role of values in educational research The case for reflexivity. 3 Titles that indicate the controlling question, for example Is academic...

Posters

Imrad Scientific Poster

Poster papers were initially introduced to ensure that people could still have their work presented at conferences when there was insufficient space for it on the main programme. Curiously enough, I have been unable to find any assessments of their effectiveness in this respect. Most papers on posters concern their design. Figure 3.6.1 shows a typical arrangement for a poster at a scientific conference. Conference organisers usually specify how large such posters can be. A conventional size is...

Pie charts bar charts and linegraphs

It is usual in discussions such as this to distinguish between pie charts, bar charts and line graphs. Pie charts are much rarer in academic articles than are bar charts and line graphs, and probably should be avoided in this context. Pie charts are difficult to label and to read if they contain several segments see Figure 3.5.2 . Further, multicoloured segments do not copy well in black and white. 1950 55 60 65 70 1950 55 60 65 70 Figure 3.5.1 Plotting the same data with different vertical...