❦ To develop a detailed sense of the publication landscape for your work;
❦ To analyze selected publication outlets;
❦ To possess a clear rationale for the trajectory of your immediate- and short- term research.
You will put together a map of publication possibilities.
The purpose of the map is to identify multiple outlets—digital publications, journals, handbooks and encyclopedias, university and commercial presses—of varying rank and reputation in which you could publish your work in the immediate- and short- term (currently and within the next 3 to 5 years).
While I assume you have defined areas of inquiry you will pursue as a researcher, feel free to indulge yourself a bit in exploring related areas in which you have an interest.
I see the map developing in two parts, but you are free to pursue the assignment how you think best in realizing your learning goals.
In the first part of the term, before spring break, please develop a more general sense of the publishing landscape. Identify a wide range of less traditional outlets:
• Broad-based scholarly outlets (e.g., the American Scholar);
• Commercial presses (e.g., Rowman & Litlefield, Palgrave) that publish academic work;
• Directed academic blogs (e.g., Backchannels), blogs of a more general sort (e.g., Nursing Clio);
• Letters to the Editor sections of prominent journals and magazines;
• Library-based journals and publications;
• Magazines—you can query magazines and newspapers (e.g., The Atlantic, Wired, "The Stone" at the New York Times);
• Journals—not necessarily "top-tier" journals—review journals;
• Professional society publications—encyclopedias, handbooks, newsletters, reviews;
• University Presses.
Develop a sense of how you might build a wide range of outlets into your publishing life and write overviews of these publications; so, consider the who, what, where, when, how of these outlets. Gain a clear sense of how to get published in these places, and why you might want to submit work there.
In the second part of the term, after spring break, select a certain number of publications that you think offer immediate- and short- term possibilities, and realities (scholars often must publish in certain outlets), for publication. On selecting these publications, perform research that goes beyond what you discovered in Part I. Strategies you might pursue:
• Examine a run of recent issues of a selected publication(s). Look for any trends in the work—particular topics, who gets cited, moves toward co-authorship, who gets published, changes in the editorial board, prominent players who publish in the field, the style and structure of work published—e.g., empirical work, statistics, ethnography, archival materials, philosophical argument; use of, or changes to, in citation; disciplinary discourse and jargon, voice (is first-person allowed...);
• Speak to people—graduate students, professors—who have published in these outlets (and some outlets receive Yelp-style reviews online, Facebook is resource). What are their experiences?;
• Query the editor. Write to the editor of the outlet. Ask them what they are looking for and let them know what you are doing;
• Libraries are becoming more prominent players in the publication game. At Tech, VT Publishing has taken shape. Such library-based ventures have popped up at many research universities. Ubiquity Press is an open access publisher of peer-reviewed academic journals, books and data;
• Research or query professional organizations about publications (e.g., 4S, the Association of American University Presses).
The number of outlets about which you gather details is yours to determine, but a rough number might be 8 to 12.
I will ask to see your map on Wednesday, February 28 and on Monday, May 7.