Academic journal article International Journal of Doctoral Studies

Starting to Publish Academic Research as a Doctoral Student

Academic journal article International Journal of Doctoral Studies

Starting to Publish Academic Research as a Doctoral Student

Article excerpt


Few students, even those registered in doctoral programs, engage in formal academic writing at a level sufficient enough to get accepted in quality peer-reviewed journals (Gray & Drew, 2008). Having grasped the proper construction of a literature review, theoretical framework, methodology, collection of data, data analysis, findings, and discussions, some inspired academics might finish an article in a few days. However, for graduate students, who are finding themselves at the starting point of their academic career, it takes weeks if not months.

It is not easy to adjust one's life to publish scholarly manuscripts Doctoral students have not had much experience in this area. Some feel that focusing on academic writing, other than the dissertation, occurs when one has landed a post-doctoral or assistant professorship position. However, we argue that graduate students should not wait to secure any of these positions in order to attempt to publish academic research. It can be frustrating and an unpleasant experience if one needs to write under the pressure of finding a job or gaining tenure. These might be good reasons to publish for those who thrive being under stress, but there are better reasons. Graduate students should write for refereed journals, in order to see if they enjoy publishing and if academia is a suitable lifestyle for them. Maybe, doctoral students should write just because of who they are and not because of external, social, or professional pressures. There are many ways to start a publishing journey such as serving as a reviewer for conferences and eventually serving as a reviewer for peer-reviewed journals.

The intent of this article is to offer advice about academic publishing for graduate students and include practical strategies about the process of 'breaking the ice' in publishing that seems to surround graduate students. We describe considerations, paths, and reasons that graduate students might consider in order to improve their pursuits of publishing academic articles. For doctoral students, writing in a refereed journal is a major accomplishment of their academic apprenticeship. This paper is written by two authors who hold different perspectives (one is a doctoral student and the other is a graduate faculty member) and explores different paths as well as choices of getting published. The first section gives an overview of writing articles as a graduate student. In the second section, the process of establishing scholarly awareness in academic publishing is presented. Some practical opportunities that graduate students should seek out in order to get published are described in the third section. Some social considerations to social networking are discussed in the next section. In the fifth section, we review some policies and ethical issues that should be considered in the act of writing, while in the next section, we discuss article submission. In the final section, some conclusions about the publishing process as a graduate student are drawn.

The Initial Start: Building the Momentum

There are some reasons why doctoral students delay the process of writing. The most common ones are graduate coursework, comprehensive exams, conducting research, teaching courses, as well as designing and writing of the doctoral dissertation. These requirements are stringent enough on their own to keep someone busy for their entire doctoral program. However, publishing academic work will make a difference when applying for an academic job in a research-oriented position. Likewise, a great number of teaching oriented universities are requiring publications for their scholars in order to offer them a position. Publishing, especially in peer-reviewed journals, is a realistic view of one's ability to prove that his or her work is well-regarded by a disciplinary community. As Gray and Drew (2008) argued, graduate students who publish during their studies are more probable to publish after they graduate. …

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