I attended the ALA NMRT webinar New Librarian’s Guide to Publishing. Since I’m hoping to publish my first peer-reviewed article in the spring of next year, I am open to all advice and shared experiences on the subject! Three librarians talked about their publishing experiences and tips:
Beth Evans from Brooklyn College gave us the four P’s of publishing:
Persistence. Beth submitted her first article to three publications before getting it accepted. Yet, that article led to a review and an interview in The Chronicle!
Partnership. She recommends working with colleagues to publish. In her case, she worked with interns. Don’t be shy or limit your connection opportunities!
Promotion. Like it or not you will have to assert and promote yourself. For example, she contacted The Chronicle when she had a great project happening in her library.
Preference. Write what you prefer to write about, even if it isn’t your speciality. We are all so much more than librarians – perhaps gender, ethnicity, subject interests, or happenstance will lead you to write outside the traditional scholarship.
Maura A Smale is at the New York City College of Technology and talked about publishing in open access venues. She pointed out that academic research libraries have increased expenditure on serials by over 400% since the mid-1980s! Some advantages of open access include ease of linking and sharing (download stats on OA articles are greater) and there are more opportunities for involvement in peer reviewing and editorial board participation.
Maura mentioned the DOAJ and SHERPA/RoMEO, which lets you search by publisher or journal to find summaries of copyright and self-archiving policies. She also talked about the SPARC Author Addendum which gives authors additional rights to their articles. You can add it to your non-OA contract – never hurts to try!
Brian Mathews of Virginia Tech rounded out the presenters and discussed writing as a personal pursuit that is less about traditional scholarship (peer review) and more about starting a conversation. He has chosen not to focus on academic works and instead writes white papers and blog posts.
As a rather accomplished librarian and writer, it was interesting to hear this approach. The more you write, he said (and it doesn’t matter the venue), the more you are invited to write. Also, blogging not only builds an audience but builds your confidence. Blogging can also be important as a writing venue for newer librarians. He emphasized that we write for where we are in our careers with a hint toward where we want to be.