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What to publish, and where

There are many different kinds of academic publication, and within every discipline there will be many different opportunities for publication you could pursue.

Despite the growth of electronic media, books and monographs are still an important part of academic publishing (particularly in the Humanities and Social Sciences). Textbooks are also still a major part of the academic and scientific publishing industry.

Journal articles, however, are the main form of publication you should consider. In many fields journal articles have a higher impact, and represent a more important contribution to scholarly debate and further research than whole books. Conference proceedings can have equal status to journal articles, provided that they are fully refereed (many are not). You may also look at writing a chapter for an edited book on a selected topic, (but remember, most edited books are put together by specific invitation only-there will not be an open 'call for papers').

The key distinction to keep in mind is between refereed and non-refereed publications. In all fields, refereed publications have much more standing, and are connected to research funding more strongly than non-refereed publications.

An 'academic' book is usually an extended exploration of a single topic, or the presentation of an extended argument on a topic or issue. A monograph means a book written by a single author, on a single topic.

Textbooks are usually written to give an overview of a field of study and to be used as a teaching resource. Mostly, textbooks are written by academics with established reputations in their field.

Journal articles can take different approaches to research depending on the discipline. (For more information go to the next page, or shaping an article for publication.)

Proceedings are the collected presentations from a conference (not a 'transcript' of what was said at the conference).

This means that the articles or papers in the publication have all been reviewed by experts on the topic or in the field.

An edited book is similar to a journal, except that it will usually have a narrower focus on a particular issue or topic, and is only published once (not annually or three times a year).

An open call for papers means that anyone interested in presenting a paper, or submitting an article is invited to do so. Calls for papers are published on discussion lists, websites, in journals and newsletters. There is no guarantee of publication, or that you will be accepted to present at the conference when you respond to a call for papers.

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