By Chris Grieves
Publish or perish! That’s the old phrase that Early Career Researchers hear as they begin their careers. The hyperbole – in its own overly dramatic way – conveys the importance of journals and books to academia. Having your work published after peer review is not just a mark of honour and a stamp of approval from established academics; it’s a crucial way to circulate your ideas and move your field forward.
Given all of that, the training and guidance available for Early Career Researchers to prepare them for the publishing process is a little inconsistent. Some supervisors are able to provide excellent training, but that’s on top of their own research, teaching, reviewing and publishing. It’s not something that everyone can be expected to offer. Conferences will often host workshops on elements of the publishing process, but you need to have the funding to go to those conferences to take advantage of them. Some institutions will run similar events (it’s worth checking whether your library does), though not all can.
To try and help people who have not been able to benefit from publishing training from any of the above sources, Edinburgh University Press have launched an Early Career Researcher hub. This hub contains guides to certain aspects of academic publishing. They give a step-by-step tour through these often opaque processes and let you know what to expect (and what will be expected of you) at each stage.
The guides are written by experienced publishing professionals working here at EUP. They’re all checked by journal editors and/or experienced authors who let us know if there’s anything that needs to be added, changed or clarified before the guides are published. We’re so grateful to the established researchers who have helped with each of these guides – a huge thank you to all of you!
At the time of writing, there are seven guides on the hub. Two of these are about journals publishing, four cover publishing academic books and one is relevant to both books and journals publishing. We’re working on more guides at the moment, so keep an eye out for new additions over the coming months. For now though, here’s a quick overview of the guides we have available:
Guides to Publishing in Journals
Writing a journal article: From the structure of an article, to choosing a journal and writing a cover letter, this guide gives you the information you need to get your first article published.
Guide to peer review: In this guide we give an outline of the peer review process (although it will be slightly different from journal to journal) and provide some tips to help you with your first review.
Guides to Academic Book Publishing
Writing your first book: Turning your thesis or dissertation into a monograph can seem like a daunting task. The advice in this guide should make it easier to tackle.
Choosing the right book publisher: Picking a publisher to submit your proposal to is a key stage in the publishing process. We cover some questions to ask yourself to help make this decision.
Writing your book proposal: Your proposal is your first chance to introduce your book to a publisher – and first impressions count. This guide will help you to make your proposal as good as possible.
The review process for academic books: With this guide we open the black-box of book proposal reviewing. You’ll find out what’s happening to your work while you’re waiting for a decision.
General Publishing Guide
Promoting your research: Once your book or article has been published, you’ll want people to start reading it. Publishers will actively promote books and journals, but there are things that you can do to get more eyes on your work.
We hope that you find these guides helpful as you navigate your way through the process of publishing with EUP (or any publisher). If you have any thoughts about the guides – especially if there are elements where you’d like more information – or if you have any ideas for future guides, please let us know. You can contact us by tweeting @EdinburghUP or by leaving a reply to this post.