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Spreading the Word: The Importance of Publishing

As students we gobble up primary sources, advice critical essays, viagra journals, even whole books on a daily basis. Eventually we’re bound to dream up or come across something that nobody else has discovered. Whether you are capable of producing works of carefully crafted fiction, dream of publishing highly cited criticisms on Philosophy, or fancy gracing the covers of high-profile scientific journals with your theories, it is difficult not to want to see your name in print. Academia thrives on communication, the expression and exchange of ideas, and the manipulation of language. So it’s no wonder that so many academic careers culminate in publication.

New media really has made the publishing world a small place, and not only does the Internet provide us with a medium to express and exchange ideas; it can also serve as a means of actually publishing your work, building up a significant readership, and getting genuine and valuable feedback on your work.

Novels

If you are drawn to the idea of traditional print publishing – of being responsible for a solid book containing a world only you could have invented – you are not alone. Luckily for you, society’s appetite for fiction – across all genres – is bigger than ever. However, there are a few important elements that need to be kept in mind if you decide to pursue a career as a novelist.

Obviously, the process of becoming a published author involves physically writing a novel that is original, structured, and ideal for your target audience. So where do you go from there? In a world where the writing industry is so explosive, your success or failure as a published author can depend heavily on luck. But there are some factors that you can control and should be aware of.

You will definitely need brilliant query letters, book proposals and synopses if you are going to get anywhere in the publishing world. Readers’ Digest suggests that you “craft a query letter that targets the specific person you’re trying to get to say ‘yes’ to your book.” In such a massive industry where so many ideas are received and immediately rejected, it is vital to make yourself stand out as a professional and promising individual. Make sure you do significant research into publishing companies and agencies and be informed on how the system works.

Persistence and drive are essential in the world of fiction. The rejection letters may stack up over the years, but this is an unavoidable part of the process. Most authors struggle for years before breaking into the business. Even J.K. Rowling experienced a stream of rejections before finally publishing Harry Potter.

There are many advantages to writing a blog or gathering a readership online, as publishers are more likely to take an author seriously if they are already somewhat established in the writing world. Earlier this year, as a result of the success of his novel Clockwork and Old Gods in the online writing community protagonize.com, Mark A. Sargent entered the publishing world and is now a highly praised fantasy writer.

Another obvious but often overlooked trait of a writer is being a reader. Read what you want to write, and write what you would want to read.

Scientific Journals

Science is a stimulating and constantly evolving field with a long history and indefinite future.

But why sit in your lab and keep all of your innovative thinking to yourself? If you keep all of your theories and findings to yourself, what’s stopping somebody else from beating you to the chase and claiming the idea as their own before you do? It’s also essential as a PhD to keep up your research and publications in order to keep your title. If you feel you have potential as a scientist, it is important to be familiar with the steps from experiment to published article.

After an experiment is carried out and the raw data processed, it is typical for one member of a team to write up the journal article. The group can then review the paper before setting to work on finding a journal suitable for their needs. Depending on the journal you choose to submit to, response time can vary from minutes to months. For example, larger journals such as Nature are known to reject entries within thirty seconds of receiving them, judging how relevant it is to their publication by the title alone.

In addition, depending on the type of journal you wish to be published in, charges may apply for being featured in their publications. In the case of pay-to-view scientific journals, the consumer pays for access to the articles published, and no charge is applied to the authors. However, in open view journals, which are openly accessible to the public for free, it is the author who pays. The charges applied can range from €800, for publication in relatively obscure journals, to as much as €2,000 for high-profile journals with a widely established readership.

Following receipt and primary inspection, your article is either deemed appropriate or not. If it is accepted, it is then passed along for peer review. This can be carried out by individuals recommended, or by scientists recorded in the journal’s system, usually with qualifications in the article’s field. Peer reviewers are usually given a month to offer critical and general comments on the article. This results in either instant publication, or in the article being returned to the writer with comments and suggestions. You can then rewrite the article, stating clearly how you have amended the weaknesses from the original, and resubmit it to the same peer reviewers. This process is repeated until the article is suitable for publication.

The laborious efforts and significant costs that go into publishing an article can seem excessive to some, but the possibilities it offers cannot be understated. Articles featured in Nature, for example, are immediately acclaimed and will most likely be highly cited, and Science Magazine has a readership of an estimated one million. Authors in such magazines often receive grant funding and media attention, after what can be described as a career-making experience.

Niamh Crosbie

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