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Writing for Publication

January 21, 2016

Management and Business, Accounting and Finance and Work Psychology Pathway: Writing for Publication, University of Sheffield, 11 January 2016

Caroline Knight, Doctoral Researcher, the Institute of Work Psychology, The University of SheffieldBy Caroline Knight (Management and Business, Accounting and Finance and Work Psychology Pathway, University of Sheffield, and Editor of the White Rose Management and Business Working Paper Series)

Monday 11th January 2016 saw the coming together of approximately 60 PhD students / early career researchers and speakers from the Universities of Leeds, York and Sheffield, to talk about writing and getting published. This event was jointly organised by the Management & Business Pathway Working Paper Series, with which I have been involved for the last two years, and the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre (WRDTC), in response to needs identified through a survey run by the WPS last summer and informal discussions with individuals. The Management School at the University of Sheffield served as host.

The day contained a wide variety of speakers from all three of the White Rose universities, each of whom had particular expertise in their respective fields. The first session provided very welcome advice on writing a PhD thesis, and was enlivened by a question and answer session involving recently completed PhD students with a wealth of personal experience, and staff with technical knowledge surrounding copyright and the submission process. A session on writing for publication followed, which provided equally useful tips and hints on writing journal articles, what to do and what not to do. Having survived for a couple of hours in a very cold lecture room (!) it was time for a comfort break with plenty of hot tea and coffee to warm up and digest the morning’s sessions. Following the break, and a (very) welcome move to a much warmer location, the day continued with a session on ‘academic voice’, which provided a great range of tips and resources to help with all types of writing, from theses, to journal articles, to books, and was tailored to the specific questions of the audience. This session wrapped up the morning and I went away feeling like I had gained something unique from each of the morning talks.

Martin Vander WeyerThe afternoon sessions were equally as engaging, and kicked off with a fascinating talk by Martin Vander Weyer, a Visiting Fellow at The University of York and Business Editor of The Spectator, who talked entertainingly about writing for non-specialist and non-professional readers. This was a welcome departure from the general focus on specifically academic writing, and indicated the vastly different styles and techniques required for a more journalistic piece. He was well received by the audience, and several people commented that it was refreshing to hear about non-academic writing. Some useful advice about negotiating the process of publishing and writing specific types of academic outputs (e.g. empirical articles, review articles, special edition articles and books) followed. These sessions were rounded off brilliantly by the finale, a ‘meet the editors’ question and answer session. This consisted of five academics from the White Rose Universities, many of whom had contributed to the day, who are also editors for highly reputed academic journals. The audience had plenty of time to ask questions in an informal setting around anything to do with the process of writing and publishing, providing a great opportunity to gain insider knowledge and tips on topics such as success rates, what gets accepted and what doesn’t.

As an organiser of the event, I felt the day had gone extremely well, and several attendees enthused about how useful and interesting they’d found it. It was a worthwhile experience for me as both an organiser and an attendee, as I gained much insight into the world of event organising as well as academic writing. Judging from the positive comments written on evaluation forms, and my own feeling, I think further White Rose / WPS writing and publishing events and workshops would be highly welcomed and a great forum for bringing together the academic communities from all three universities.

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