On (re)building institutional writing cultures

Pat Thomson suggests the benefits of restoring a writing-oriented organisational culture to the modern-day university. A more social, communal setting can create the conditions necessary for gaining confidence as a writer. Writing is core to our disciplines and so ought to be at the very heart of our everyday university lives. While this would certainly require institutional leadership, it also depends […]

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    The importance of being REF-able: academic writing under pressure from a culture of counting

The importance of being REF-able: academic writing under pressure from a culture of counting

Writing is crucial to an academic’s role of producing, shaping and distributing knowledge. However, academic writing itself is increasingly being shaped by the contemporary university’s managerial practices and evaluation frameworks. Sharon McCulloch describes how her research on academics’ writing practices has revealed tensions around the ways in which managerial practices interact with academics’ individual career goals, disciplinary values and […]

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    “Remember a condition of academic writing is that we expose ourselves to critique” – 15 steps to revising journal articles

“Remember a condition of academic writing is that we expose ourselves to critique” – 15 steps to revising journal articles

Before having your paper accepted for publication in a peer reviewed journal you’ll almost certainly be required to revise your manuscript at least once. But for less experienced authors this may not always feel so straightforward. Deborah Lupton has compiled a list of quick tips for authors who have been asked to revise their article. Remember that being exposed […]

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    2016 in review: round-up of our top posts on academic writing

2016 in review: round-up of our top posts on academic writing

Five strategies to get your academic writing “unstuck”
To help fight off the January blues and to further inspire a productive year ahead, we have coordinated a series of posts on academic writing. To kick-start the series, here are some general tips from Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega on what to do when the words just aren’t flowing. From conceptual maps to […]

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    Submitting to a journal commits you to it for six weeks to six months (or longer) – so choose your journal carefully

Submitting to a journal commits you to it for six weeks to six months (or longer) – so choose your journal carefully

There is plenty to consider when making a decision about which journal to submit your paper to; ranging from basic questions over the journal’s scope, through its review process and open access offerings, all the way to the likelihood your work will be widely read and cited. Patrick Dunleavy has compiled a comprehensive list of these considerations, complete with tips on what […]

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    Engaging with the process of writing can connect researcher and reader and foster real innovation and impact

Engaging with the process of writing can connect researcher and reader and foster real innovation and impact

A new project aims to open academic writing practice to reflections and experiments with the actual process of writing, with a view to creating new, open research products that have an impact on peers, public and policymakers. Ninna Meier and Charlotte Wegener outline their vision for the Open Writing project, its importance, and why Open Science must be about […]

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    How to increase your likelihood of publishing in peer reviewed journals

How to increase your likelihood of publishing in peer reviewed journals

Writing about your research is one thing but knowing how to write an article for publication in a peer reviewed journal is quite another. From his perspective as a journal editor, Hugh McLaughlin offers some helpful tips and insights, ranging from demonstrating your familiarity with your chosen journal and what it has published to the importance of paying attention to […]

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    Book Review: Of Remixology: Ethics and Aesthetics after Remix by David J. Gunkel

Book Review: Of Remixology: Ethics and Aesthetics after Remix by David J. Gunkel

Is remix a revolutionary creative practice or an illegitimate stealing of other people’s work? In Of Remixology, David J. Gunkel challenges the terms of this debate by arguing that both arguments are predicated on shared values, despite ostensibly opposing goals. This book provides an accessible, lively and impressive conceptual mashup of the conflict between the so-called copyright and copyleft that offers […]

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    Book Review: Seven Steps to a Comprehensive Literature Review: A Multimodal and Cultural Approach by Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie and Rebecca Frels

Book Review: Seven Steps to a Comprehensive Literature Review: A Multimodal and Cultural Approach by Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie and Rebecca Frels

In Seven Steps to a Comprehensive Literature Review: A Multimodal and Cultural Approach, Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie and Rebecca Frels offer a new guide on how to produce a comprehensive literature review through seven key steps that incorporate rigour, validity and reliability. Ana Raquel Nunes recommends this helpful, well-informed and well-organised book to those undertaking literature reviews as well as […]

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    The Materiality of Research: Flows of Thought: On Canals, Materiality and Humanities Research by Jodie Matthews

The Materiality of Research: Flows of Thought: On Canals, Materiality and Humanities Research by Jodie Matthews

In this feature essay, Jodie Matthews examines how waterways have not just been the topic of her work, but have also become a dominant material metaphor that has channelled her theoretical approach. Tracing the history of the ‘canal age’ and how it continues to influence our physical and conceptual landscapes, this essay discusses how river navigations offer generative ways of considering the materiality […]

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    PaperHive – a coworking hub for researchers that aims to make reading more collaborative.

PaperHive – a coworking hub for researchers that aims to make reading more collaborative.

Managing research material in the digital age is still a widely inefficient process. Alexander Naydenov, co-founder of PaperHive, looks at how this web platform could transform reading into a more social and active process of collaboration. Close to 1.2 million academic articles and books can currently be read and discussed with PaperHive. The platform enables contextual and structured discussions […]

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    Woven into the Fabric of the Text: Subversive Material Metaphors in Academic Writing

Woven into the Fabric of the Text: Subversive Material Metaphors in Academic Writing

Katie Collins proposes that we shift our thinking about academic writing from building metaphors – the language of frameworks, foundations and buttresses – to stitching, sewing and piecing. Needlecraft metaphors offer another way of thinking about the creative and generative practice of academic writing as decentred, able to accommodate multiple sources and with greater space for the feminine voice. 

This piece originally appeared […]

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    How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists

How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists

From vaccinations to climate change, getting science wrong has very real consequences. But journal articles, a primary way science is communicated in academia, are a different format to newspaper articles or blogs and require a level of skill and undoubtedly a greater amount of patience. Here Jennifer Raff has prepared a helpful guide for non-scientists on how to read a scientific paper. These steps […]

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    Writing for Impact: How can we write about our research in a way that leads to meaningful change?

Writing for Impact: How can we write about our research in a way that leads to meaningful change?

Academic work may have impact in a variety of ways, depending on purpose, audience and field, but this is most likely to happen when your work resonates in meaningful ways with people. Ninna Meier encourages a more systematic investigation of the role of writing in achieving impact. Impact through writing means getting your readers to understand and remember your message […]

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    The Materiality of Motherhood in Academic Research: Notes on ”Workflow” from a Mid-Life Doctoral Mother

The Materiality of Motherhood in Academic Research: Notes on ”Workflow” from a Mid-Life Doctoral Mother

In this feature essay, Helen Butlin reflects on the process of rethinking the notion of ‘workflow’ as a mid-life doctoral mother concurrently working in front-line healthcare. She describes how this has meant apprenticing to writing as a craft, redefining one’s understanding of ‘the good PhD student’ and accepting the inevitable messiness of both life and academic research.

This essay originally appeared […]

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    On the Materiality of Writing in Academia or Remembering Where I Put My Thoughts

On the Materiality of Writing in Academia or Remembering Where I Put My Thoughts

In this feature essay, Ninna Meier reflects on the materiality of the writing – and re-writing – process in academic research. She explores the ways in which our ever-accumulating thoughts come to form layers on the material objects in which we write our notes and discusses the pleasures of co-authorship. 

This essay originally appeared on LSE Review of Books and is the first in […]

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    Write As If You Don’t Have the Data: The benefits of a free-writing phase.

Write As If You Don’t Have the Data: The benefits of a free-writing phase.

When researchers reach the point of actually writing up their analyses, the writing can often centre around the data itself. Howard Aldrich argues this kind of “data first” strategy to writing goes against the spirit of disciplined inquiry and also severely limits creativity and imagination. Literature reviews and conceptual planning phases in particular would benefit if researchers explored the range of ideas […]

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    Writing the introduction to a journal article: Say what the reader is going to encounter and why it is important.

Writing the introduction to a journal article: Say what the reader is going to encounter and why it is important.

An introduction has a lot of work to do in few words. Pat Thomson clarifies the core components of a journal article introduction and argues it should be thought of as a kind of mini-thesis statement, with the what, why and how of the argument spelled out in advance of the extended version. Writing a good introduction typically means “straightforward” […]

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    Conversing with ghosts: Prefigurative talk and the shifting contours of intellectual debate.

Conversing with ghosts: Prefigurative talk and the shifting contours of intellectual debate.

Next in our #AcWri2016 series is a reflection on conversational writing and academic thought. Academic discussion typically appears as clustered conversations. Davina Cooper focuses on the dilemma posed by prefigurative contributions, where academics respond to a discussion as if it is taking place, treating it as if it were the one that ought to be taking place, even though speakers know the […]

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Five strategies to get your academic writing “unstuck”

To help fight off the January blues and to further inspire a productive year ahead, we have coordinated a series of posts on academic writing. To kick-start the series, here are some general tips from Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega on what to do when the words just aren’t flowing. From conceptual maps to short walks, here are some practical ways to tackle the […]

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This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.