Niederhauser, D.S., Wetzel, K., & Lindstrom, D. L. (2004). From manuscript to article: Publishing educational technology research. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial], 4(2). Retrieved from https://www.citejournal.org/volume-4/issue-2-04/editorial/from-manuscript-to-article-publishing-educational-technology-research

From Manuscript to Article: Publishing Educational Technology Research

by Dale S. Niederhauser, Iowa State University; Keith Wetzel, Arizona State University West; & Denise L. Lindstrom, Iowa State University

Abstract

The publishing process is often challenging for new educational technology scholars. This article provides insights into the publication process to help them understand and to increase the chances that their work will be accepted for publication in high-quality peer-reviewed journals. Suggestions for developing a program of research, a description of the peer-review process, a table of potential publication outlets, and examples of correspondence with editors are included to help demystify the process.

 

Note from the Editor:

One of the most popular sessions at the annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education is the editorial panel. The editors of the SITE journals and their counterparts at other educational technology periodicals review the background, intended audience, and submission protocols for their respective journals. These sessions are popular because they ensure that the publication efforts of participants are appropriately directed.

The following article by Niederhauser, Wetzel, and Lindstrom provides an extension of these editorial panels by including in-depth information about publishing that would apply to any peer-reviewed academic journal. This information should be invaluable as a follow-up for participants who attend these sessions at SITE, as well as to graduate students and others who may not yet have extensive publishing experience.

We envision this initial article as a base document that can be supplemented by other editors, changing over time to reflect the changing nature of the field.

 

 

 

Publishing one’s research in blind peer-reviewed (or peer-refereed) academic journals is often an intimidating task for new educational technology scholars. Many emerging scholars have had limited opportunities to write for a professional audience during their graduate careers, and the experiences they have had may not transfer to the new setting. Proposals submitted for conference presentations are typically brief, receive little feedback for revision, and are not held to journal publication standards. Actual papers presented at conferences are typically published in proceedings or as an ERIC document without additional review or editing. Further, the traditional five-chapter thesis or dissertation tends to be unsuitable for publication—those who do try to publish it as a journal article often find themselves rewriting the entire manuscript. Thus, few educational scholars fully understand the blind peer-reviewed publication process when they enter the profession.

Becoming a proficient academic scholar, however, is a developmental process. Participating in the knowledge sharing process in an educational community can be an academic’s most important and rewarding work. Publication is the mechanism that advances the field and is an immediate concern for assistant professors in the “publish or perish” world of the academy. There are many options available for publishing one’s work, including reviewed and nonreviewed research, theoretical, or practice-based outlets, as well as book chapters and monographs. However, publishing in blind peer-reviewed journal articles tends to be viewed as most desirable for those judging work for promotion decisions. The purpose of this article is to help demystify blind peer-reviewed publication by providing insights that will help newcomers participate successfully in the process.

Conceptualizing a Program of Research

Publishing an article in a blind peer-refereed journal begins well before you package up the manuscript and send it off to an editor. Two key elements in the publishing process are identifying a timely and important topic and grounding the work in an appropriate literature base. Considering the current issues in the field and developing interesting and insightful ways to address them allows you to plan a program of research strategically—a systematic series of research projects around a topic or issue.

Engaging in programmatic research can further your career in several ways. Focusing in an area allows you to become expert in a body of literature and gain insights into the complexities of a field of study. Developing a program of research allows you to become intimately familiar with the relevant discussions in the field that can be used to guide your work. Further, familiarity with a focused area of literature allows you to be efficient, in that developing expertise in an area means you know the major findings, issues, and conclusions in the literature that provide the conceptual framework for all of the publications in your program of research. Sustaining a program of research can support the development of coherence and sophistication in your writing as you integrate findings from earlier research into the conceptualization and design of new projects.

Selecting an Appropriate Outlet

Developing a well-conceptualized program of research can be accomplished only by spending considerable time reading and reflecting on relevant literature. Reading and reflecting on the literature provides an additional benefit for savvy researchers in that it provides an excellent opportunity to assess the various characteristics of potential outlets for their work. Some blind peer-reviewed journals primarily publish empirical research articles, while others provide an outlet for more conceptual, theoretical, or descriptive articles. Becoming familiar with the various journals in the field enables you to identify appropriate outlets early in the research process and design and develop your articles to fit. A good strategy is to target a specific journal as your first choice but to also have one or two preferred journals as backup choices in case your manuscript is not accepted in your primary journal. When selecting preferred journals, choose ones that have a similar focus, audience, structure, and reference style to your primary journal. Doing so allows a manuscript to be easily revised and submitted to preferred journals if necessary. A list of journals that publish educational technology research with editor contact information, general information, and author guidelines are included in Table 1.

In addition to the nature of the articles published in a journal, another important consideration in choosing an appropriate outlet is acceptance rate. A recent report indicated that three fourths of the journals surveyed accepted more than 10% of the unsolicited manuscripts received, and over half accepted at least 30%, with some acceptance rates as high as 60% (Henson, 2001). The same data indicated that chance of acceptance improved dramatically when authors were advised to revise and resubmit their work. Average initial acceptance was 32.8%, but increased to 78.1% for reevised and resubmitted manuscripts. So look into acceptance rates and choose a journal that gives you a reasonable chance of being accepted, and if you are invited to resubmit, it is well worth the effort to address the reviewers’ and editors’ concerns and do so.

Strategic Publication

There are several important considerations to which authors must attend when writing for publication. At one level it seems simple to develop and conduct a study, then produce a manuscript. However, doing this in a thoughtful and systematic manner greatly increases the chances of developing a body of work in blind peer-reviewed journals.

Developing Studies

With a carefully thought-out program of research aimed at answering timely and relevant questions and a good sense of potential outlets, you are ready to begin designing research projects for publication. Given the extended turnaround time for many journals, it is advisable to have several projects in varying stages of development at any given time. That is, designing and collecting background information on one, collecting and analyzing data on a second, and preparing the final draft for submission on a third. This strategy creates a “pipeline,” with new projects continuously going in and completed projects going out. This can result in a steady stream of publications—a great advantage for anyone seeking tenure.

Conceptualizing a series of research projects to illuminate an important issue in the field is valuable for organizing and guiding one’s work; however, programmatic research is rarely a linear and systematic process. Rather, programmatic research tends to be both recursive and reflective. Working through a project and writing it up is often a learning experience for researchers. As problems and inconsistencies between the researcher’s basic assumptions and the literature (or data) emerge, the thoughtful scholar must accommodate them by adjusting the research program. Interesting questions that arise in one project may lead to questions that should be addressed through additional (perhaps unanticipated) research, while findings from another may lead to abandoning work that no longer appears relevant. So, although it is clearly desirable to have a general plan and direction for the research program, it is also important to be flexible enough to allow research projects to reflect the development and growth of researchers as they engage in the process.

Conducting Research

While specific suggestions for conducting research are well beyond the scope of this article, some general considerations may be helpful. Well-designed research has a clear theoretical framework that drives the program of research and runs through all aspects of the work. As mentioned earlier, ground the study in a relevant literature base. Foresight and careful planning and designing of the research project enables researchers to systematically collect and organize data and increases the likelihood that the research will address its purpose. Decide on a methodology for collecting and analyzing data before you start your research. Waiting to decide on analysis techniques until after data are collected can be disastrous. You may find that the data you collected cannot be analyzed in ways that address your research questions—forcing you to revise the entire study retrospectively or abandon the project altogether. In fact, it is generally wise to decide the types of analyses needed to address the research questions, then decide the types of data needed for the analyses and develop instruments that will yield the necessary data. Whether planning a quantitative analysis and designing instruments that will provide interval data for parametric tests or choosing to use observations, interviews, or questionnaires to provide necessary data for qualitative methods, anticipating data requirements and analysis strategies are key.

Writing a Research Study

In many cases producing a blind peer-reviewed article is accomplished as a collaborative effort. Research issues and ideas are discussed with colleagues, teams may be involved in design, data collection, and analysis, and different individuals may take responsibility for the actual writing of the manuscript. This raises the issue of which participants should receive credit for authorship and the order in which authors should be listed. The American Psychological Association publication manual provides some guidelines for establishing authorship, including each listed person’s contribution with respect to writing, conceptualization, design, analysis, and interpretation. Lesser contributions may be acknowledged in a note. In general, it is wise to discuss order of authors at the beginning of the project and allocate roles and tasks accordingly—then revisit authorship periodically if roles change. An open and frank discussion of authorship before the manuscript is sent to a journal provides closure and is a good opportunity to discuss percentage of contribution of each author (information requested by some institutions for faculty review).

Several important issues should also be considered when writing the paper. The first issue relates to “fit” (making your manuscript fit with other articles in the target journal). Use articles that were accepted to your target journal to guide your writing. Having identified a target journal, write the manuscript to be consistent with articles that have appeared in the journal relative to the types of issues addressed, nature of typically reported research (e.g., conceptual or theoretical reviews, empirical scientific studies, etc.) types of analyses (e.g., quantitative, qualitative, level of sophistication, etc.), tone (e.g., conversational, formal, use of first/third person, etc.), and perceived focus and level of expertise of the audience (e.g., special educators, teacher educators, practitioners, etc.). Henson (2001) recommended writing “a little less esoterically and a little more clearly than the articles you read in [your targeted journals]” (p. 768). Additional resources for writing are included in the References and Recommended Readings section at the end of this article. Use the journal website (see Table 1) to obtain copies of author guidelines and the form that reviewers use to evaluate manuscripts. Some editors even provide detailed descriptions of their journal’s review procedures (Davis, Dillon, & Selinger, 1999). Use these documents to guide your writing and conduct a final self-review of the manuscript before submitting. Many editors welcome questions from potential authors regarding publication timeline, upcoming special issues, and whether the article content is suitable for his or her journal. This initial contact can save time and frustration for both authors and editors.

A second issue concerns the organizational structure of the manuscript. Once again, use examples of articles in the target journal as a guide. First and foremost, use the journal’s web page to identify the required style guide (e.g., APA, Chicago, etc.) and follow the conventions of that style. Becoming intimately familiar with the major styles and using them consistently is time well spent. Having to go back and revise in-text citation, references, tables, figures, and headings is a time consuming and frustrating process. It is wise to look to target journal articles for headings conventions and descriptive elements, like the ways authors provide subject demographic information or describe materials or analysis techniques. Incorporate these features into your manuscript—if they worked for previously published authors, they can work for you, too.

Another important issue in the writing process involves critical review and revision of the manuscript before it is submitted to a journal. Colleagues can often provide extremely useful feedback on a manuscript that could make the difference between a positive or negative initial review. Give your colleague a copy of the guidelines from the webpage with the manuscript. Do not limit yourself to collegial reviewers found at your home institution. Look across institutions and disciplines for colleagues that may provide interesting and insightful reviews from a variety of perspectives. Select colleagues who have been successful in their publishing efforts—especially those who have published in the target journal. It is important to remember that you, as the lead author, must ultimately decide whether and how to incorporate suggested revisions.

Submitting the Manuscript

Finally, after developing a program of research, targeting an appropriate journal, designing and conducting a research project, and writing it up, you are ready to prepare the final draft of the manuscript and send it to an editor. Note that a manuscript can only be submitted only to one journal at any given time. You may submit your manuscript to a different journal after receiving a negative review (more on this later) or withdraw the manuscript from consideration and submit it somewhere else, but any given manuscript may not be under review by two journals at once.

Journals have different requirements for publication, so visit the webpage and review submission guidelines carefully. One or more of the submitted copies must have identifying information removed to facilitate the “blind” aspect of the review process. Do not include author names or affiliations on the title page, as headers or footers, or in acknowledgements. It is typically not necessary to remove author names in citations or the reference list but some journals do require it.

Include a cover letter to introduce yourself, provide contact information and give a brief overview of the manuscript (see Appendix A). Some journals require additional information, like number of pages, word count, numbers of figures and tables, a statement that the work is not currently under review with any other publication outlet, that it has not been previously published, and/or if treatment of participants was in accordance with ethical standards for research. Check the webpage and include this information only if requested.

A growing number of journals require an electronic version of the manuscript—submitted either on a disc or online. This allows for easy web-based or email distribution of manuscripts for review and in-text editing of the document for providing comments for the author, adding line numbers, removing identifying information, etc. Other journals accept hardcopy only and require multiple copies with identifying information removed. Again, attend to journal submission guidelines carefully. Failing to follow them explicitly may delay the entire publication process.

The Blind Peer-Review Process

The blind peer-review process begins when your manuscript is received by a journal editor. Although it may vary somewhat among journals, the overall process remains fairly consistent. Conceptually, the process was designed to serve as a neutral filter to isolate the quality of ideas expressed in the publication from the reputation and social/political connections of the author—making it the quality of ideas and argument that determine which manuscripts are accepted and published in blind peer-reviewed journals. Two aspects of the blind peer-review process contribute to this purpose. First, submitted manuscripts are peer reviewed—that is, members of a “review board” consisting of experts in the field evaluate the work and decide whether it is suitable for publication and, if it does have potential, make recommendations about how it might be revised to improve quality. Typically, three reviewers evaluate each manuscript. The second aspect centers on the fact that the process is “blind.” This means that names of authors are not communicated to reviewers and identifying information is removed from the manuscript. This process provides opportunities for all scholars to participate in the academic discourse, and publication becomes an issue of “what you know,” rather than “whom you know.”

Initial Review

The first step in the process is the initial review. When an editor receives a manuscript, it will be read to determine if it is suitable for the journal and of appropriate quality to be sent out for review. Typically, the editor is looking for fit with the journal’s mission, potential contribution to the field, quality of research, and quality of writing. If any of these characteristics are deemed inadequate, the manuscript may be returned to the author without further review (see Appendix B). Journals have different policies with respect to this stage of the review process. Some editors tend to send most manuscripts out to reviewers, allowing the review board to have input on received manuscripts; others are more selective in what they send out, trying to respect their reviewers’ time by sending only manuscripts that have a reasonable chance of acceptance.

When an editor sends a manuscript out for review, several actions occur. One important task is deciding which review board members are best suited to evaluate a given manuscript. When a reviewer joins the board, and periodically thereafter, he or she submits a vitae and identifies areas of expertise. Using this information and interactions with reviewers over time, the editor selects a team of reviewers (again, typically three reviewers per manuscript). At times, an editor may choose to send a manuscript to someone who is not a member of the review board. This may occur when the editor asks a scholar who has worked extensively in the field in which the submitted research is situated to review or perhaps when an individual is being considered for membership on the board. Finally, the manuscript is sent to reviewers. This is increasingly accomplished by electronic means, but some journals still mail hardcopy manuscripts out to reviewers.

Blind Peer-Review

Each reviewer receives a manuscript, a review rubric (see Appendix C), and request from the editor indicating the date by which the review must be returned. Typically a reviewer is given 4 to 6 weeks to complete a review. If the review cannot be completed in the given time frame, editors request that they be informed immediately so they can send it to a different reviewer. In some cases reviews are not completed by the return date—prompting a reminder to the reviewer from the editorial team.

While individual reviewers may conduct reviews in different ways, we can provide insights to our experiences with the review process. A 2-hour time block is typically sufficient for the initial reading and annotation of the manuscript. Writing extensive comments in the margins provides information that the reviewer uses when preparing the final review that goes back to the editor. A key part of the task is identifying examples of criticisms of the article—like highlighting a block of text and writing “unsupported conclusion” in the margin or noting relevant literature that is not addressed. From these margin notes, themes begin to emerge that frame the review of the manuscript.

In reading the manuscript, the items identified in the journal rubric focus the critique. However, reviewers must also have a general framework or “mindset” that guides their thinking. A primary question that reviewers often ask themselves about all manuscripts is, “Does this work make a contribution to the field?” The reviewer must make a judgment about whether the audience for the particular journal will find the topic relevant, interesting, and important. If a manuscript does not meet this criterion, it is difficult to justify accepting it. On the other hand, if the topic is relevant, interesting, and important, reviewers are much more willing to spend time and energy making suggestions to help make the paper publishable.

It is also important to consider whether the topic is grounded in an appropriate literature base. Does the literature provide a rationale for why the work is important? Set up a logical argument or series of questions that the research addresses? Establish a context for examining the results of the work? Address the appropriate bodies of literature that are related to the topic? A well-developed concise literature review helps convince the reader that researchers are knowledgeable about others’ work in the field, have integrated their own work with it, and are careful, thoughtful, and reflective about their work.

A key element in many manuscripts is the methodology section. Although some forms of writing do not require an explicit methodology section, it is included in quantitative and qualitative research studies. The methodology section provides insights into how and with whom the research was conducted. This allows reviewers to judge whether generalized claims are warranted, if the research was conducted in a rigorous manner, and if appropriate analyses were conducted. Use examples from your target journal, but in general, it is wise to include standard headings for quantitative and qualitative research projects (see Appendix D) and include focused and relevant information under each. Reviewers do not like having to look for specific information because proper headings are not used appropriately. The key is to provide the relevant information without including trivialities, like the name of the statistics package used for the analysis. A clear, explicit, and detailed methodology section is essential for a positive review.

In describing analysis and results be sure to follow the conventions of the required style guide, as described in the specific journal’s author guidelines (e.g., APA, Chicago, etc.). Reporting quantitative analyses are especially challenging because of the specified format and technical information required. Certain information must be provided to allow readers to check the accuracy of statistics and understand the magnitude of the findings (e.g., effect size). Always ask your most knowledgeable methodological colleague to read and give feedback with an eye to methodology. Technical flaws in analysis and results have resulted in the rejection of countless manuscripts.

The discussion/conclusion should be insightful, tied to the literature base, and supported by the data. A “tight” manuscript has a coherence and flow that runs through it from start to finish. There is a focus and purpose that is clearly stated at the beginning, is developed and contextualized through literature, provides a foundation for the research, and guides the analyses and reporting of results. Only make claims and draw conclusions that are explicitly supported by your data. When this is done properly, it culminates in a well-framed discussion/conclusion that speaks to the topic under study and is supported by the logical arguments and findings that came before.

Reviewers may include additional comments concerning details, like typographical and grammatical errors and incorrect use of reference style. Numerous examples of errata may cue reviewers to have concerns about other aspects of the work. To avoid this, carefully proofread and edit the document before sending it to an editor.

When the initial reading of the article is complete, reviewers finish the review by scoring the manuscript on the review rubric and writing a rationale for their decision (see Appendix E). The rubric often provides space for the reviewer to rate certain aspects of the manuscript (e.g., value to the field or profession, adequacy of research method, etc.) and to make a final recommendation about whether to publish the manuscript. The final recommendation typically includes four options: reject, revise and resubmit, accept with major revisions, and accept with minor revisions. What these options mean to a submitting author is discussed in the following section. If the manuscript is deemed potentially publishable, the reviewer may also provide specific suggestions for revising the manuscript. The final review is returned to the editor, and reviews from the three review board members are used to make the final decision.

Editor’s Decision

When all manuscript reviews have been received, the editor and/or editorial team makes a decision about whether to publish the article. The editor communicates the decision to the author in a letter (see examples below). This letter includes the editor’s decision about whether to publish the manuscript, comments about the manuscript that support the decision, and specific guidelines for revision (where appropriate). Reviewers’ comments are also included—either in original form or incorporated into the editor’s remarks. The nature of the decision determines the content of the letter. The editor will include detailed and specific information about the concerns that must be addressed if the author is asked to revise and resubmit or if major revisions are required. Information on the conditions for acceptance may also be included—such as whether one or more reviewers will be involved in further review or if the editor will be responsible for the final decision.

The first option is to reject the reviewed manuscript (see Appendix F). Manuscripts may be rejected for a variety of reasons. For example, the article may not fit within the scope of the journal, the research may be deemed fundamentally flawed, the work may not be at an appropriate level of sophistication (e.g., a highly theoretical manuscript submitted to a journal that typically publishes practical articles). The best strategy when receiving a reject decision is to consider carefully the editor’s rationale for rejecting the manuscript, then decide if it is “fixable.” If you decide it is, attend to all of the editor’s comments and submit it to one of your other preferred journals. Try not to be too discouraged—everyone who publishes extensively receives rejections during the course of his or her career.

Another option is for the editor to ask the author to revise and resubmit the manuscript (see Appendix G) . This decision means the editor has identified one or more areas needing significant improvement. If the author’s improvements are deemed adequate, the manuscript may be suitable for publication. Typically, the manuscript will be sent out for another round of review, sometimes to the same reviewers, sometimes to new reviewers. As mentioned earlier, the likelihood of publication for a manuscript that receives a revise and resubmit designation increases dramatically. However, acceptance of the manuscript for publication is not a sure thing. Take extra care to address fully the editor’s concerns and explain all of the changes made to the document when you resubmit (see Resubmission section).

The next level, conditional accept, or accept with major revisions, is a fundamentally different decision (see Appendix H). The manuscript has been conditionally accepted for publication and will likely be published, assuming you address the editor’s concerns in a satisfactory manner. Accepted manuscripts may be sent to one or more reviewers to ensure their concerns have been sufficiently addressed. The author works with the editor until the editor is satisfied that all of the reviewers’ concerns have been addressed.

Finally, the editor may make a decision to accept the manuscript “as is” (a rare occurrence) or accept with minor revision (see Appendix I). This means there may be some wording changes or minor points to address, but the article is essentially ready for publication.

From start to finish, this process can take from several months to over a year. Many journals have extensive backlogs of manuscripts waiting for review. Contact the editor to inquire about the current time frame for review and publication. Be aware, however, that estimates of how long the review process will take are only the editor’s best guess. There are several factors in the process that can lead to delays. For example, reviewers may not return manuscripts by the specified date, or even more problematic, may return the article unreviewed after a period of time, necessitating identification of another reviewer and resetting of the timeline. Most editors do their best to process articles in a timely fashion. If you must contact an editor about the status of your manuscript, be polite and understanding. They tend to be very busy people, many issues are out of their control, and editing the journal is probably an unpaid service activity.

The Revision Process

Revising the manuscript is a critical aspect of the publication process. Whether you received a “revise and resubmit” or “accept with revision” letter, the key is to address clearly, completely, and systematically all of the editor’s concerns. Focus on the editor’s letter. What specifically is being asked of you? If the editor lists certain points to be addressed and refers to the comments made by a specific reviewer, focus your efforts in those areas. In addition, be sure to read all reviewers’ comments and attend to those that are relevant and that improve the quality of the manuscript. Be sure to keep track of every correction and change you make to the manuscript.

It is not necessary to accept all of the editor and reviewers’ recommendations and make the suggested changes; however, they must all be addressed. It may be that a reviewer misunderstood your point and suggested a change based on that misunderstanding. When this occurs, it is appropriate to state that there was a misunderstanding and revise the manuscript to clarify whatever led to the misunderstanding. If the reviewer did not understand your point, chances are other readers will have the same problem.

Colleagues can be a great help in providing feedback and helping ensure that concerns have been addressed. Colleagues may be asked to review the editor’s concerns and read the manuscript with an eye toward whether they have been addressed. Be conscientious about this stage of the process. In the case of a revise and resubmit decision, this is your best, and often last, chance to convince the editor that the manuscript is worthy of publication.

Resubmission

When revisions are complete write a letter detailing exactly what was done to address the editor’s concerns (see Appendix J). The more explicit you are in this letter the better. Start with what you see as the major issues that needed to be addressed and explain clearly and explicitly what you did to address them. Link your comments to specific sections of the manuscript, so the editor can quickly and easily locate revisions and see what was done. You may want to highlight added text by making it a different color. The purpose of this letter is to draw attention to the specific ways you addressed the editor’s concerns.

If the revised manuscript is accepted, this is your last chance to make changes to the content of the manuscript. What is included in this draft is what will appear as the published article. The editor will do a final read-through for mechanical errors, but the content is set. If you want to develop a point a little more fully or include that recent citation that just came out, you must do it at this stage of the process.

Editing Galley Proofs

Galley proofs (or galleys) are the final “typeset” version of the manuscript that will appear in the journal—the editor’s final draft. The final step in the publication process is the galley proof correction stage. Not all journals use galleys, but those who do provide an opportunity for the author to give the article a final read to make minor corrections. The author must understand that appropriate corrections at this stage include only things like typographical errors and omissions. Substantive changes are typically not permitted and insisting on changes at this point may be cause for the editor to push the manuscript to a later publication date and/or charge the author for the additional work required.

Conclusion

Seeing your work appear in a blind peer-reviewed journal is a gratifying experience. Participating in the academic discussion through research publication is at the heart of our profession. For many, the publication process takes the form of an apprenticeship. In graduate programs students work with faculty members and more experienced students to participate in research projects and engage in the writing process. Over time, these graduate students begin to design, conduct, and produce their own publishable research.

Participation in the blind peer-review process can be invaluable in helping new researchers gain insights that will benefit their own publishing efforts. According to Caulkins (1986), people who are insiders to the writing process make important connections that provide a different level of understanding, enabling them to become more effective writers. Although her work was tied to preschoolers and emerging writers, Caulkins’ observations are equally relevant at this level of the writing process. Conference organizers are always recruiting qualified members to review conference proposals—email the organizations for more information and to volunteer to review (SITE: conf@aace.org; NECC: iste@iste.org; AERA: 2004annualmtg@aera.net). As indicated previously, some journals occasionally use guest reviewers to review manuscripts. You may want to contact editors of journals in your area of expertise to inquire about such opportunities. Once you have developed some experience as a reviewer, look for periodic calls to add members to editorial review boards of journals in your field.

Finally, begin early and aim high. The number of recent graduates applying for educational technology positions at research-intensive universities with conference proceedings as their only publications is surprising. Others publish work from their master’s degree program and have several blind peer-reviewed publications by the time they apply for their first tenure track position. Students who have engaged in the publication process are better prepared to continue publishing throughout their careers. Target the top journals in your field, conduct rigorous research, produce high-quality manuscripts, and submit your work to blind peer-reviewed journals. Success requires knowledge, commitment, time, and effort.

 

References

American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Caulkins, L. M. (1986). The art of teaching writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Davis, N., Dillon, P., & Selinger, M. (1999). A new millennium approach for the Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education, Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education, 8(3), 1-5.

Henson, K. T. (2001). Writing for professional journals: Paradoxes and promises. Phi Delta Kappan, 82(10), 765-768.

University of Chicago Press. (2003). The Chicago manual of style (15th ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

 

Other Recommended Readings

Baker, S. (1998). The practical stylist (8th ed.). New York: Longman.

Becker, H. S., & Richards, P. (1986). Writing for social scientists. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Henson, K. T. (1999). Writing for professional publication, (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Henson, K. T. (2003). Writing for professional publication: Some myths and some truths. Phi Delta Kappan, 84(10), 788-91.

Reep, D. C., & Sharp, H. M. (1998). The educator’s writing handbook. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Author Note:

Dale S. Niederhauser
Iowa State University
Email: dsn@iastate.edu

Keith Wetzel
Arizona State University West
Email: k.wetzel@asu.edu

Denise L. Lindstrom
Iowa State University
Email: dllb@iastate.edu