Early Career Researchers vs The Paper
I vividly remember setting off to write my first research paper. If you haven’t written a paper yet, here’s what it resembles: it’s a little bit like being handed a scroll in the lost language of Atlantis and asked to do the Queen’s taxes. There is a general sense that you should ‘just know’ what you’re doing, even though no two research papers are really the same, and so the criteria for evaluating one might not apply to another.
To be more specific, here is just a small sample list of some of the immediate things that popped into my head when I began my first draft:
What journal do I choose – and how?
How do I relay my findings in a coherent way?
How do I use a simple language but not overexplain?
What is a ‘publication quality’ diagram and what is this thing about diagram sizes in inches and centimetres?
What is impact and how does it work?
And what do I even do with peer reviews or journal rejections?
The problem was that all the tools I found in trying to answer these questions seemed to belong to one of the following categories: ‘outdated’, ‘non-specific’, or ‘does not apply to my field’. We all know that as research moves forward, so increases the demand for high quality publications and the expectations to produce concise, structured, well-evidenced materials early in your career. But how does one even begin to do that? Here, at Researcher, inspiration struck.
Researcher Live and Edanz team up vs The Paper
The subtitle above might be misleading – Researcher and Edanz are not out to sacrificially burn all academic papers. Rather, this latest collaboration aims to enable young career researchers (and beyond) to produce valuable publications through a series of online events hosted by our partner Edanz. If you haven’t heard of Edanz before, they provide editorial and consulting services to researchers to help enhance academic manuscripts (and they are incredibly good at it!). If, conversely, you haven’t heard of Researcher Live, this is our newest attribute here on Researcher, aimed at combining an informal conference setting with a podcast that can be listened to on the go from any device. In our upcoming series of events ‘Supporting Early Career Academics: Enhance your Skills with Edanz and Researcher’, we joined forces to simplify the learning curve of becoming a published author by offering guidance and advice which is relevant, meaningful and just an app away from being reached. These series will be free to join in and free to re-listen as they will all be audio recorded and available on Researcher.
In short, we are taking all your questions and concerns, and we are talking about them live - with the experts.
A series of monthly events to support your publishing
While you may have come across some previous Live events, such as the ones found here and here, our partnership with Edanz has a very different nature. The aim is to open a discussion among researchers (regardless of their level of experience) of the tools, strategies and common setbacks that accompany the particular art of producing a publication. Every month, we will be approaching a different topic, with our first session ‘Identifying the Right Journal Publishing Strategy’ on 13th December at 10am GMT tackling journal selection along with predatory journals and how to spot them. In the following months, we’ll also be looking at constructing figures and tables, managing rejection and imposter syndrome, and even instructions for how NOT to write. The plan for these series of talks is to demystify all aspects of publishing – from structuring papers, organising your research and avoiding common problems with first-time scripts, to understanding and handling the peer review and publication process. To help further, Edanz is also offering a free first year membership to My Edanz Premium.
When I handed my first draft to my supervisor, it came back with more comments than original text – I eventually ended up almost completely rewriting everything, and this was before we even hit the peer review stage. I could have saved myself a lot of time if I just knew where to start and what I was supposed to be aiming for. Having been through the struggles of publishing – and finding that what little guidance exists for writing papers is abstract and confusing at best – I’m particularly excited about a Researcher Live programme that gives confidence to young academics and explains the process of writing. The goal is to both encourage a community to support researchers working towards publications, and to create a library of advice that can be used as a valuable resource at any time.
How can I join?
To join our first event, add to calendar here. You can also follow Edanz on your Researcher app and website for future updates on the series. And finally, you can find full information of our upcoming series ‘Supporting Early Career Academics: Enhance your Skills with Edanz and Researcher’ on this page.