Helping academics navigate the world of publishing

Editor‘s new book aims to support next generation of editors and authors

Years of watching academics struggle with the ‘publish or perish’ phenomenon has inspired a leading Elsevier Editor-in-Chief to publish a book to help academics navigate the world of publishing.

“After spending 24 years as the founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Expert Systems with Applications and also researching in the knowledge management field, I feel it’s time to practice what I preach,” explains the book’s editor Dr. Jay Liebowitz, who is now Editor-in-Chief of the journal Procedia Computer Science. “With this book I hope to share the lessons I’ve learned in journal editing.”

The new book, A Guide to Publishing for Academics: Inside the Publish or Perish Phenomenon [1], is a compilation of chapters from 15 journal editors, some from leading Elsevier journals. It offers practical advice to help researchers increase their chances of being published in peer-reviewed journals. It also has advice for current and future journal editors, including models of editing and editorial boards, editorial coaching advice, and editing smart practices.

Dr. Liebowitz’s top 5 tips for editors

  • Publish high-quality papers that make a significant contribution to the existing literature
  • Set aside part of each day for ‘journal patrol’
  • Be fair and reasonable, but uphold the highest technical standards
  • Beware of all the ‘vested interests’
  • Give back to your scientific community as a reviewer, editor, or ‘community friend’

“Doing ‘journal patrol’ as I call it is a daily time-consuming activity,” says Dr. Liebowitz from Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. “It’s a lot of work, but getting an email from a reader who said that the journal has greatly shaped her research agenda, or a newly minted assistant professor who eventually has his dissertation research published makes serving as a journal editor a rewarding experience.”

Gathering information for the book helped Dr. Liebowitz see the work he does as an editor from a new perspective, and including the lessons learned by other leading editors was invaluable.

“I’m a big believer in cross-collaboration – that leads to new ideas and creativity,” he says. “I’m honored to have some of the most knowledgeable journal editors in the business and IT fields join me in contributing their knowledge. It’s a thrill for all of us involved in this book project to provide some helpful insights, guidance, and best (or worst) practices to researchers as they move forward on their research and publications journeys.”

Life as an editor isn’t always easy. “It certainly was a catharsis to assemble this book,” says Dr. Liebowitz. “We could have told some hair-raising stories about personal or professional vendettas with various colleagues regarding their research and writing activities, or about plagiarism cases that consumed many months of the journal editor’s time. Instead, we tried to take the ‘high road’ and focus on the key things academics can do to get published.”

Dr. Liebowitz has a wealth of expertise in knowledge management, business, finance, analytics, intelligent systems, and IT management. His work at Harrisburg University focuses on analytics, knowledge management, and financial literacy education. Although the focus of his new book is mainly in the business and IT areas, much of the guidance provided can be applied to other fields.

“We wanted to provide some interesting vignettes and dos and don’ts so that the potential author could understand what goes on behind the scenes once the manuscript arrives on our (virtual) desks,” he explains. “We hope that this book serves as part of our legacy as journal editors.”

[1]  Liebowitz, J. (ed.) (April 2015), A Guide to Publishing for Academics:  Inside the Publish or Perish Phenomenon, Taylor & Francis, NY.

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