For HDR students, the prospect of publishing their research can feel daunting and overwhelming – ‘Where should I publish?’, ‘When should I publish – during or after my PhD?’, ‘What makes a good article?’ ‘How do I publish my work’? LIRC’s second HDR workshop, which was held on Friday, 6 May 2016, tackled these questions. Following on from LIRC’s successful inaugural HDR workshop on methodology held in February, LIRC academics once again shared their knowledge and experience with HDR students.
The workshop began with Professor Nan Seuffert discussing the complex issues of journal and university rankings, and the challenges that law scholarship faces in a citation based system. She also encouraged HDR students to think about what their research goal is and which audience they want to reach when selecting where to publish. Professor Elena Marchetti suggested that students talk to others in their research field about where to publish and to survey potential publication journals for content and methodology similar to their own – and not to be too upset if they receive negative review comments! She made the important point that a journal with low citations does not mean that it is not well-regarded. Dr Luis Gomez Romero provided a fascinating analogy of ‘academic excellence’ and a story about a play called the ‘Stage of Wonders’, which was similar to the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’. He also suggested that HDR students only publish in English-speaking journal as unfortunately non-English speaking journals don’t seem to be recognised, despite their rich history and impact. Associate Professor Marett Leiboff spoke of her experience as a journal reviewer and advised that there are three common flaws to avoid when submitting articles for publication – (1) Unconnected, disparate, unsustained and incoherent ideas loosely linked to form a ‘thought bubble’ – (2) Inadequate or insufficient research and (3) A failure to understand the purpose of the journal.
After morning tea, Associate Professor Julia Quilter discussed her experience in publishing on Open Access Journals and Social Media, particularly Twitter. She pointed out how publishing on platforms outside of peer-reviewed journals enables your research to be read by a broader audience and therefore, to have a greater impact, which is increasingly becoming an important part of academic research.. Dr Niamh Kinchin agreed with this and spoke about building a ‘cyber-network’ with your publications. Dr Kinchin showed students how she uses Twitter and blogging and also explained the range of online repositories of publications such as Google Scholar. Dr Cassandra Sharp guided students through the various funding options available to HDR students for research-related activities and presenting at conferences.
The final panel after lunch shared their personal achievements and challenges in publishing their work. Dr Gabriel Garcia warned students of the ‘Author-pay’ model journals and predatory publishers. Dr Garcia also explained the range of assistance available from the UOW library such as Journal Impact Reports, which students found very interesting. Dr Felicity Bell advised students to think carefully about their field of research and where they are going to publish so as to make sure that their ‘article has a home in the publishing world!’ She also encouraged students to have confidence in their work. Dr Niamh Kinchin provided a personal experience of publishing twice during her PhD. She also explained how she has recently secured a contract for a book publication which is due for completion in 2017. Whilst her book is not a direct replication of her thesis, it draws substantially from its themes and research.
LIRC’s second HDR seminar was very dynamic and informative. It provided HDR students with a wide range of views and demonstrated that the answers to students’ publications questions such as ‘Where to publish?’ and ‘When to publish?’ really depends on their particular field, the audience they want to reach and their research goals. We look forward to the next LIRC HDR workshop!
HDR Candidate Kate Tubridy and Dr Niamh Kinchin