Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Publish publish publish

I've heard it said so many times, as I'm sure any of you working on PhDs or similar first steps to academia, that it becomes something of a mantra and a frightening reminder that you always need to be working with a wider audience in mind.

I'm about eight months into my formal work on the project now, and gathering together my plans for the summer for research. More archival work beckons, and I'm sure by the end of it I'll regret having ever started. Trying to put everything into some sort of order let alone the criticism needed, takes some work.

For most of us, adapting our work for conference papers, and journal publications is a way of structuring our research and aiding the writing of huge chunks of the thesis - at least I think I'm right in that. Publications early on and during the thesis work probably do more favours than anything else when it comes to the dreaded job applications. I'm acutely aware of all of this right now - my girlfriend is in the final stages of her PhD and so the talk of job prospects is a regular topic at home.

So far I've not anything published since the start of the PhD, bar a couple of (largely) unrelated magazine pieces, and one article on Exclusive for the official Hammer site. I've been asked to put in papers to a couple of conferences and trying to come up with a couple of ideas now, which is easier said than done (I don't want to shoehorn my project so it fits with the brief of one).

On a possibly slightly more positive note I've been planning a reference book to go alongside the research, which I'll pitch once I've a bit more done. Some of you will be aware I'm also still finishing off my book on Hammer Films which was contracted long before I started my PhD. I've also been approached about editing another book, which if it happens should be quite interesting. I've got the time set aside in my schedule to do it, and am discussing another book with publishers at the moment. Early days and none might happen, but I think its important to think of these things this early on in the project. None are directly related to the Exclusive project, but there is a connection to be found in each.

How does everyone else cope with article submissions etc.? I'm very cautious about putting my work out there at the moment. I've been burnt before with a publication project, which has kept me away from certain areas in the interim.... 

2 comments:

  1. Article submissions... Sore point: I've given away some good writing to magazines for the publishing credit, and rarely get paid. And my two books earned only pocket money. I think the days of being able to earn any kind of living as a freelance writer are over.

    The motivation in publishing now is supposed to be kudos and networking and careering - but I'd rather get paid.
    But your PhD sounds well interesting.

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  2. At the moment I have some very good material to share, but I have to pick the publications very carefully in order to maximise the academic credit. It simply isn't enough to be published - you have to publish in the right place.

    That means not sending it to the magazines, but academic journals and so on. But the massive wait can be a problem too as I don't want to shoot my mouth out before some of the findings are in print.

    Money? Ha! I don't remember the last time I wrote anything that got paid properly. There's bugger all money in academic publishing (unless you're very lucky). But that's not the point.

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