Building Up Your CV By Publishing
by Ethan Goffman - Senior Editor, ProQuest
There are numerous formats in which to publish. In general, the easier it is to get published, the less prestigious and the less helpful for getting academic jobs. However a lot depends upon the type of academic job you are aiming for. For a serious research position, publication in a peer reviewed journal is the gold standard, whereas for a community college position other kinds of publications can be impressive.
Contacts are extremely helpful in getting published. Networking is crucial. If you know that someone is involved with a journal, don't be afraid to ask about possible publication.
Here are some of the major types of publications:
- Departmental publications, such as newsletters, can be the easiest way to get your first publication, but carry little weight in academia.
- Book Reviews may be the best way to begin. Select a few journals, write the editors regarding the topics you'd like to review, and send a CV demonstrating your expertise. Remember, journals always have a shortage of book reviewers, and a glut of other types of publications.
- Non-peer reviewed journals can be useful if they have an independent editorial staff.
- Online sources vary from pretty much useless, such as a personal blog, to quite impressive, such as a peer reviewed journal. In some parts of academia, however, online publication carries less weight than print publication, but this is gradually beginning to change with the advent of excellent, peer reviewed electronic journals.
Finally the gold standard: peer reviewed journals and books. In the sciences and mathematics journal publications are preferable, while in the humanities a book is required to secure tenure at a top university.
- Peer reviewed journals. It's best to begin with one of your strongest graduate papers or a chapter of your dissertation. Carefully read the journals you're most interested in. The format may be different from the paper, perhaps requiring a stronger introduction, greater contextualization, less use of quotation, and/or other changes. Be aware that peer reviewed journals usually take several months to reply, so give yourself a lot of time. Don't be intimidated if the reviewers require extensive changes. Also don't be dejected by the inevitable rejections, but continue to send out work.
- Books. In academia your first book is almost always a revised version of your dissertation. Academic presses are better than trade presses for impressing academic employers. It's a good idea to first publish a chapter or two of your dissertation as independent articles. You will then need a compelling summary of your book to interest the press: check individual presses for their requirements.
ProQuest Dissertations and Thesis Database