Special Issue "The Research and Writing Processes before Publication: From The Researchers’ Perspective"

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A special issue of Publications (ISSN 2304-6775).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Yongyan Li (Website)

Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China
Interests: Second Language Writing; English for Academic Purposes; Academic Literacy; The Literacy Practices of Multilingual Scholars

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Of any research project, only what is published becomes visible to a wider circle of colleagues and readers. The research and writing processes that precede publication of a paper is rarely reported or disclosed in sufficient detail. In particular, the frustrations, setbacks and pains that researchers often experience on their way to publication remain widely unknown. The behind-the-scene stories may only be exchanged by academics among themselves occasionally or shared with novices in a research methodology class or during a supervisory session. Yet such narratives, which illuminate the less-than-positive aspects of the difficult journey to publication, have on the whole not received a platform on public forums (printed or virtual) devoted to the discussion of scholarly publishing. This special issue of Publications aims to provide a fresh venue for researchers and authors to share their stories and express their views on relevant issues.

Submissions to the special issue may address any of the following, or related, topics:

  • Challenges in gaining access to research participants or research sites
  • The process of combing through the literature, taking notes, and writing an effective literature review
  • The process of constructing a theoretical framework that would potentially ‘upgrade’ a paper
  • The process of revising a paper in response to reviewers’ comments
  • Insights into the cooperating/co-authoring process in research publication
  • Decision-making in one’s research agenda to balance institutional publication requirements and other considerations, such as personal intellectual interest

In terms of the genre, contributions can be think-pieces, theoretical discussions, research reports with empirical data, or even reviews of relevant literature. In short, we welcome a variety of submissions that will provide insights into the challenges and hardships that academics often need to overcome in order to be published and advance their careers.

All submissions will undergo the regular peer review and editorial procedures followed by the journal. We look forward to your contributions and remain open to any questions you may have.

Dr. Yongyan Li
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Publications is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Novices’ Struggles with Conceptual and Theoretical Framing in Writing Dissertations and Papers for Publication
Publications 2015, 3(2), 104-119; doi:10.3390/publications3020104
Received: 1 January 2015 / Accepted: 17 April 2015 / Published: 28 April 2015
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Abstract
In this conceptual paper, we address the problem that novice scholars in social sciences sometimes have in constructing conceptual or theoretical frameworks for their dissertations and papers for publication. In the first part of the paper, we discuss why the topic is [...] Read more.
In this conceptual paper, we address the problem that novice scholars in social sciences sometimes have in constructing conceptual or theoretical frameworks for their dissertations and papers for publication. In the first part of the paper, we discuss why the topic is important in the high pressure environment that novice scholars face, in which finishing a doctoral degree and getting published can make a difference in career success or failure, and explain our understanding of theoretical/conceptual framing, including provisionally defining some key terms. We then elucidate ten problems that novice scholars have with theoretical/conceptual framing, using our own experiences as manuscript reviewers and writers as examples. The paper concludes with ways that novice scholars can address the task of framing their scholarly work conceptually and theoretically, on the understanding that the struggles continue over the lifetime of a scholarly career. Full article
Open AccessArticle Two Chinese Medical Master’s Students Aspiring to Publish Internationally: A Longitudinal Study of Legitimate Peripheral Participation in Their Communities of Practice
Publications 2015, 3(2), 89-103; doi:10.3390/publications3020089
Received: 28 December 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
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Abstract
This paper explores how two Chinese medical Master’s students’ international publication success/failure and their academic English learning outcomes were related to their agency and the social context in which they were embedded by using the notions of legitimate peripheral participation (LPP) and [...] Read more.
This paper explores how two Chinese medical Master’s students’ international publication success/failure and their academic English learning outcomes were related to their agency and the social context in which they were embedded by using the notions of legitimate peripheral participation (LPP) and community of practice (CoP). While both students were highly motivated and similarly limited in English proficiency, their publication and academic English literacy learning outcomes vastly differed. Analysis via the lenses of LPP and CoP reveals that their differences in scholarly achievement in terms of international publication success and academic English learning outcomes can be convincingly explained by variation in the structure of the CoPs to which they belonged. Their respective CoPs determine their amount and quality of co-participation or mutual engagement with old-timers, particularly the master, which ultimately led to markedly different publication and academic English learning outcomes. Accordingly, I argue that institutions must consider the amount of mutual engagement senior researchers can afford to their research students when allocating advising responsibilities to professors. Full article
Open AccessArticle English Writing for International Publication in the Age of Globalization: Practices and Perceptions of Mainland Chinese Academics in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Publications 2015, 3(2), 43-64; doi:10.3390/publications3020043
Received: 25 January 2015 / Revised: 18 March 2015 / Accepted: 18 March 2015 / Published: 25 March 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Much scholarly attention has been given to the English writing and publishing practices of the academics in non-Anglophone countries, but studies on such practices in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) have in general been limited. The case of Mainland Chinese HSS [...] Read more.
Much scholarly attention has been given to the English writing and publishing practices of the academics in non-Anglophone countries, but studies on such practices in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) have in general been limited. The case of Mainland Chinese HSS academics is potentially interesting. On the one hand, international publications in these disciplines have been on the increase, which are also encouraged by the national research policy of “going-out”. On the other hand, unlike those in science and technology (S&T), such practices in the HSS are still much less institutionalized at the local level. In the study reported in this article, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine academics in economics, sociology and archaeology from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and all nine participants had prior experience in international publishing. With a focus on participants’ experiences and perceptions, findings from this study demonstrated the relatively passive role participants played in their international publications, the importance of various resources in bringing forth these publications, and the relations between participants’ alignments with the local or international community and their voluntary investment in participating in their practices. Implications of the study were also discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Apprenticeship in Scholarly Publishing: A Student Perspective on Doctoral Supervisors’ Roles
Publications 2015, 3(1), 27-42; doi:10.3390/publications3010027
Received: 29 December 2014 / Accepted: 2 February 2015 / Published: 13 February 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although a large body of literature has suggested that doctoral supervisors play an important role in their students’ attempts at scholarly publishing, few studies have focused specifically on what roles they play. This study sought to address this gap by zooming in [...] Read more.
Although a large body of literature has suggested that doctoral supervisors play an important role in their students’ attempts at scholarly publishing, few studies have focused specifically on what roles they play. This study sought to address this gap by zooming in on the various roles a group of Chinese doctoral students found their supervisors playing in their scholarly publishing endeavors. Our analysis revealed four important roles played by the supervisors: ‘prey’ searchers, managers, manuscript correctors and masters. The results showed that the supervisors not only facilitated the doctoral students’ publishing output, but also fostered their apprenticeship in scholarly publishing and the academic community. However, the results also unveiled a general unavailability of sorely-needed detailed and specific guidance on students’ early publishing attempts and some supervisors’ limited ability to correct students’ English manuscripts. These findings underscore the important contributions doctoral supervisors can make to their students’ academic socialization. They also suggest a need for external editorial assistance with doctoral students’ English manuscripts and ample opportunities for their scaffolded initiation into the tacit conventions and practices of scholarly publishing. Full article

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Open AccessEssay Accessing Fellow Academics as Research Participants: Constraints, Collegiality, and “Academic Citizenship”
Publications 2015, 3(2), 131-149; doi:10.3390/publications3020131
Received: 1 January 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
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Abstract
In this paper I discuss some constraints and implications in accessing fellow academics as research participants, a topic that has rarely been addressed thus far in the literature. I will point out that a lack of cooperation from fellow academics may defeat [...] Read more.
In this paper I discuss some constraints and implications in accessing fellow academics as research participants, a topic that has rarely been addressed thus far in the literature. I will point out that a lack of cooperation from fellow academics may defeat our research purposes, and will survey some studies involving U.S., European, and Chinese academics as research participants to illustrate education researchers’ efforts to work with fellow academics against the odds. By referencing my personal experience of engaging with Chinese academics, I will then discuss the role of personal contacts in research and reflect upon various constraints in accessing fellow academics as research participants. I will suggest that, when we do participate in a fellow researcher’s project, the incentive is a desire to support our peers in the spirit of “academic citizenship.” Full article

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