Tag Archives: Faculty

How to Increase Faculty Publication Rates

In higher education, the “publish or perish” environment presupposes an academic’s ability to construct, submit, and defend written positions while expanding preexisting research and theory.  It’s very important that faculty who seek research and tenured positions, be active publishers in peer-reviewed journals.  Unfortunately, only a small percentage of academics are actively publishing.  Current publication rates also seem to be disproportionate with the value and pressure higher education places on faculty to publish.  The number of publications and the integrity of those publications can either help or hinder faculty professional development (employment, promotion, tenure), professional value within the system (institutional or national recognition), and the chances of earning professional incentives (grants and awards).  As important as publications have been made within higher education, how can educational administration more effectively support faculty to publish?  The following suggestions are helpful publication interventions that increase faculty publication rates:

  • Writing-for-publication professional development courses, retreats, workshops, or consultations.  These strategies provide structure, writing timelines, goals, and instruction.  Ideally, the PD publication intervention is also fun; hosted in a motivating environment amongst like-minded researchers and writers.
  • Writing-for-publication support groups, clubs, teams, and social media forums. These strategies strengthen writer motivation, decrease writing anxiety, provide a reward system for successful publications, offer accountability measures, and create structured time dedicated for writing.  Facebook, acadamia.edu, and academic blogs are just a few examples of how social media can increase communication amongst writing group members.
  • Writing-for-publication co-author partnerships.  This strategy unites two academic writers with a common writing goal.  The relationship helps keep each author accountable or on task.  Co-authors also share research and writing responsibilities as well as provide editing support.  Co-authors may choose their writing partner from within their same discipline or establish a cross-discipline partnership to complement their expertise.
  • Writing-for-publication coaches or mentors. These strategies provide structure, accountability, instruction, lessons on writing processes and politics, practical writing exercises, and editing support.
  • Submit papers to cross-discipline, peer-reviewed journals.  This can increase the exposure rate and therefore, the acceptance rate into journals with paralleling research interests.
  • Strengthen undergraduate and graduate writing-for-publication cultures on campuses.  Indoctrinated with the motivation, experience, and skills needed to publish, students seeking professorship and research positions will demonstrate more consistent publication rates after graduation.

The scholarly peer-reviewed journal article has been a key indicator of an academic’s value in higher education.  Without a strong record of publication, many academics will be denied rewards such as external funding, promotion, tenure, or even employment.  The suggestions mentioned above provide structured interventions to streamline publication processes and increase faculty publication output rates.

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Filed under Higher Education, Leadership

Blogging 101 for Educational Leaders

[The attached video is an interview with Dr. Bret Simmons, a College of Business Associate Professor of Management at the University of Nevada, Reno.  His extensive research and experience in management, leadership, and social business contributes significant merit to our discussion about faculty or administrators developing and managing a blog.]

Lately, higher education faculty and administrators, perplexed about the blogging culture, have approached me with specific questions regarding how to start a blog.  Confusion about blogging formats, tone, purpose, length, and how often to post are blogging barriers for many academics.  This blog will respond to their concerns in hopes of helping to reduce initial blogging intimidation or anxiety.

Social media will continue being a significant influence in post-secondary education instruction and communication. Did you know that there are more than 160 million public blogs and over 180,000 blogs created every day?  Faculty and administrators have the duty to adapt, master, and lead educational instruction and research dissemination through technology.  Blogging is one strategy to accomplish these goals.  Blogging is a way to network with leading scholars, analyze current studies, and develop co-collaborative publications.  It also is an effective way to test theories and receive feedback on article topics.  Blogging should not hinder a faculty or administrator’s ability to lead but instead be effective means of increasing student learning and research development.  By introducing the usefulness and inclusivity of blogging to faculty and administrators, misconceptions and hesitations of blogging in academia will dissolve.

Remember to relax and have fun; it’s a blog not an APA 6th edition research paper.  Blogging is an opportunity to have real-time, relevant conversations that contribute original knowledge within your industry.  Educators should be at least familiar with blogging as a means to research and converse with leading professionals, increase professional competitiveness, increase college recognition, and increase instructional effectiveness.  So blog responsibly, discern reliable and valid internet resources from extraneous materials, and be known for relevant, valid, and reliable content.

A few free blog websites where you may choose to start your own include WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, Blog.com, & Weebly.

Blog examples include: Bret Simmons, Greg Mankiw, Seth Godin, Gerald Lucas, Craig Monk, Bob Sutton, Tom Peters, LawProfessorBlogs, and Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Course Curriculum + Social Media = Social Curriculum

Some of the most interesting and beneficial college courses that I have instructed or have taken, included some form of interactive discussion using social media.  If fact, many colleges and universities host a campus web service providing classroom discussion forums and student chat rooms.  I believe this is an effective instructional tool but it is also limited. If classroom discussion was available on social media platforms, curriculum topics could include global perspectives and experiences.  Yes, some course material is more sensitive and should be held within the course web service, but other topics could simply contribute greater social benefit and a more robust learning experience.

For example, I often invite guest speakers to visit my course and interact with my students.  Not only do my students gain from the guest speaker’s contributions, but through their interaction and discussion, the guest speaker benefits as well. Many times I have been told that the college student perspective has led to a change or update in the guest speaker’s profession.  For instance, during one of my law and ethics courses, our guest speaker who is a State Senator said that their engagement with my students was a good opportunity to interact with their local constituents and had gained from my student’s opinions, experiences, and perspectives about legislative issues.  In fact, the Senator was also inspired to try a new direction with a campaign strategy.

This got me thinking, if interaction between my guest speakers and my students was so beneficial for all involved, how could I promote these benefits on a larger scale?  How could I encourage a more effective partnership between my students and other resources outside of academia? What I have begun to practice and what I recommend other faculty to investigate is the use of Social Curriculum.  Social Curriculum is a web-based interactive learning environment used for course assignments. Twitter and blogging are two specific Social Curriculum tools that stimulate interactive discussion, build professional networks, and prepare our students as responsible digital citizens. One instructional tool that faculty can use includes a Twitter hashtab for a Tweetchat.  This application is free and provides a forum for real-time conversation that can connect guest speaker(s) to students.  It provides a forum for interactive, current, and ongoing discussions.

Another example of Social Curriculum includes the use of Blogging.  This social forum provides students an outlet to creatively express their responses to course topics either on their own blog website or on a course blog website.  This helps to engage student interest while making connections between course content and practical application. It also allows students to gain from other professionals and scholars in their discipline. In the very least, regardless of the course subject, faculty will be encouraging responsible social business skills.  As we develop Social Curriculum, faculty are preparing students to be responsible digital citizens in a social media culture.

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Filed under Higher Education, Social Business