Publish, Don't Perish: The Scholar's Guide to Academic Writing and Publishing

Publish, Don't Perish: The Scholar's Guide to Academic Writing and Publishing

Publish, Don't Perish: The Scholar's Guide to Academic Writing and Publishing

Publish, Don't Perish: The Scholar's Guide to Academic Writing and Publishing

Synopsis

Expressing a strongly positive view of the value of academic publishing that reaches far beyond what is implied by the book title, Moxley offers informed suggestions to faculty members for conceiving, developing, and publishing scholarly documents as books or journal articles. His book discusses the composing processes of successful writers and provides specific guidelines for various types of writing, including abstracts, book proposals, and grant proposals. Writers are instructed in applying the standards and techniques used by professional editors for evaluating and editing manuscripts. Moxley also addresses political and economic factors that impinge on what is written and published and suggests ways to involve institutions and professional organizations in motivating scholarly writing and publishing.

Excerpt

At first glance academic publishing appears to be a healthy, thriving enterprise. In the sciences alone, it has been estimated that "two journal articles are published every minute" (Coughlin A4). Since the 1900s, "only 2-3 percent of all manuscripts make it into book form" (Aronowitz 44; Parsons 51). Because university presses, journals, and trade-book publishers reject manuscripts by the ton, it may seem logical to assume that too much emphasis is placed on publishing in academia. With thousands of pages being printed each day, scholars appear to be having a difficult time even reading each other's work. In a survey of "papers published in 1984 and the citations they accumulated through 1988" of a database that included 10 percent of all scientific journals published worldwide, David Pendlebury found that few scholars are citing each other's work: physics has about 37 percent uncited, medicine 46 percent, mathematics 55 percent, engineering 72 percent, and social sciences 74 percent (Hamilton 25). Perhaps, as numerous critics have contended, scholars do not read other scholars' work because so much of it is poorly written. Or perhaps scholarship . . .

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