Writing journal articles
GETTING WORK PUBLISHED in scholarly academic or professional trade journals is a great way of raising the profile both of individuals within the team and your service as a whole. Journal articles can reach a wide national and international audience and can open many doors, including invitations to speak at national conferences, or provide opportunities for individuals to become involved in LKS projects with a wider reach. Not only are they a great way of disseminating research or your LKS's work, they can also be a good way of sharing individual learning from undergraduate or postgraduate studies, as a good dissertation can be converted into a journal article with a little formatting. Whilst this Tip focuses on writing for academic or professional journal articles, it should be read alongside other sections of this book which consider the process of writing newsletters, case studies or blog posts.
When reviewing the literature, there are lots of opportunities for budding writers to tackle a range of subjects, including larger research projects, smaller local projects, reflective articles or literature reviews. This is not an exhaustive list, but gives an indication of some article types which have been published successfully. Journal articles are an excellent method of sharing learning from internal projects or activities, such as adopting a new teaching method or designing a new website.
Ultimately, anything which would be of interest to your peers can be written about and submitted to a journal for publication.
When it comes to choosing the topic for a writing project, there are no limitations and Fallon (2009) suggests that a good place to start is by jotting down some ideas that interest the writer. Whilst as a LKS manager or supervisor you may have specific ideas of the projects that you would like your staff to write about, they are the ones doing the writing and therefore they need to be enthused by their topic. Writing an article can be a long and difficult journey, and so it is important that the writer is fully engaged and supported by you to ensure a successful outcome.