“What I would do differently if I were an early career researcher again” – Part 2

Elsevier editors draw on their wealth of experience to reveal their top tips for early career researchers

In the final part of this 2-part series we invited editors to share advice they wish they could have given themselves when they were an early career researcher. This article was inspired by a conversation that started on LinkedIn.

What advice would you offer your younger self?

Dr. Justine DaviesDr. Justine Davies, Editor of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, advises before you start writing, to look “at the bigger picture”. She gives an example from her field: “There are an awful lot of things that can be done to improve patient health without needing to do complex lab work. Always consider what an editor will think of your results and papers before you even start the study; visualizing the end product will help you ask the right questions in the first place.”

Dr. Becky P.Y. LooDr. Becky P.Y. Loo, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Travel Behaviour and Society, would tell her younger self, “When writing research papers, share new findings, highlight differences, and do not repeat all you know. Always “cut up” big problems but do not forget to “piece together” the small findings and keep an open mind to keep improving.”

Dr. Alison DohertyDr. Alison Doherty, Editor of Sport Management Review, suggests finding and emulating a role model scholar in your own department: “By understanding and appreciating what makes them successful within your department and institution, you have a living guideline for best practices there.” She also advises you to “collaborate with others – share the pain, and the gain!” adding “make sure you take the lead at least some of the time!” She recommends you “align with a senior scholar in your field if you can, to continue your learning and boost your own reputation.”

Dr. Esra MemiliIf you find yourself daunted by this, Dr. Esra Memili, Associate Editor of Journal of Family Business Strategies has some words of reassurance. She began her research career later than some and reflects that it doesn’t matter when or where you begin: “There are publication opportunities for all levels and every publication effort is a valuable learning experience for advancing in research.

“If I knew that research and publishing would be my passion, I would have started sharpening these skills much earlier in high school, undergraduate, and master degrees. Because of this, I encourage and train my interested students at all levels (including undergraduate and master degrees) for research and a successful academic career.”

Part 1 of the story can be found here >>

We would like to thank all the Editors who contributed to this article. If you would like more advice on how to further your research career, visit the Publishing Campus, Elsevier’s open online training platform. It offers online lectures, interactive training courses and more professional expert advice.

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