Posts Tagged ‘Research’

Turning your research into published articles

22 September 2010

Contributed by Eoin Magennis

The pressure-cooker world of academia now has two Holy Grails. The monograph has been dealt with by Pue’s before. The other, an article in a peer-reviewed journal, is what I’ve been asked to write about – from the editor’s point of view.

The first thing to say is an obvious point – writing briefly about the topic of your choice is harder than to cover 100 pages on it. Just because this is obvious does not mean that people pay heed. In my five years’ experience of editing Eighteenth-Century Ireland, there is nothing more off-putting than the over-long submission. It won’t mean automatic rejection but if you can’t say what it is you want to say within 10,000 words (including notes) then you are likely to need to do a lot more work.

A second point to make is that articles published today are not what they once were. This is not a case of casting a fond eye back to a golden age of well-crafted articles. Indeed if you go back through old journals you will see how many articles were poorly written, badly argued or both. That said, theses now lend themselves better to extracting articles than they once did, when narrative was more important. Read More

How to turn your PhD into a book: part 3, some first revision steps

9 October 2009

By Juliana Adelman

booksI started this series of posts because when I began the project of turning my PhD into a book I would occasionally type ‘turn your PhD into a book’ into Google hoping for some kind of magic.  Perhaps there was a translation engine I could put my text through to save me the agonising pain of revision?  Alas, there is nothing for it except to struggle on, re-reading sentences over and over until you go numb.  With that for a cheery start, I wish I had approached the process in as systematic a manner as I imply below.  It’s hard to be ruthless with your prose without getting discouraged and if you’re not being ruthless I don’t think you’ll accomplish much by way of revision.  Some people certainly have a gift for writing and the rest of us have to make do with revising.  It is hard work and a bit too similar to psychoanalysis to be enjoyable.  The past two posts on this topic have covered aspects of the publishing process, writing a book proposal and choosing a publisher.  In case you haven’t read those posts, I’ll repeat my disclaimer: my only claim to expertise on the subject is that I have successfully navigated the transition from PhD to book (only once, TBTG).  Now we get down to the nitty gritty of actually transforming your academic exercise into a book with an audience of…well at least a few hundred.  The first thing I did was to start taking things out.

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Share and share alike

18 August 2009

By Juliana Adelman

pizza_sharing_slice-723637 I’ve been meaning to post on the subject of sharing research results for some time.  It’s been on my mind as I try to finish up publications from my PhD.  I’ll state my prejudices from the outset: I think Irish historians are bad at sharing.  Everyone involved in Irish history academic circles probably knows the story about how Irish Historical Studies (supposedly) had to change its policy of allowing postgrads to self-report on their PhD topics.  Apparently, students took it upon themselves to grab land in a way not seen since the settlement of the American west.  The website is still up, I can’t tell if this story is true.  However, it is indicative of a general attitude towards research work as your own private territory.  This often continues long after the PhD is finished and the result is, I think, damaging to history in general and a big waste of effort.  Of course people give conference and seminar papers and they also look to publish.  For those students who plan a book of their research, many are concerned about someone else ‘stealing’ their work or publishing on the same sources before they do.  If this is you, then I say have some more confidence in your originality!  But the fact is that not every PhD is going to end up in a publication and even for those that do, there is often material which is left out.  If you DO publish, there are some interested parties who your research will not reach.  So the following list suggests some ways to circulate your research.  In the interest of sharing, I’ve taken some excellent ideas from Joe Cain‘s recent article in Viewpoint, a newsletter of the British Society for the History of Science.  I hope to be able to make his article available here soon.  I think it’s a great reference for all PhDs, recent or otherwise. Read more