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.
A young woman from Florida named Elise wrote me last week and asked, “Because I don’t have an overwhelming passion for only one thing and I don’t have a personal brand, how can I become a more valued and important professional in my workplace?”
Most likely, there are many opinions and recommendations for Elise about this subject but I will respond by answering, “listen for I WISH statements”. “I WISH” statements are another way of saying, “here is a need and it is an opportunity for someone to create a solution”. Purpose and value are often determined by the ability to satisfy a need and “I WISH” statements can identify those needs.
These I WISH statements came from people in my life. I responded to them by addressing the need and creating a solution or recommendation. If I can’t solve their I WISH statement, I introduce them to other resources that can. Either way, I contributing to others and creating progress within my industry.
Listen for I WISH statements in your life. These are moments when you can be of value and satisfy a need; thus becoming more productive and essential in the workplace. Being proactive and taking initiative reflects creative ambition and selflessness: two very respected and rare qualities in today’s workforce. If you can’t resolve a need by yourself, search for other resources or work in partnership with other professionals. You’re ability to contribute to society, create change, and see your efforts manifest into solutions will inspire your passion through feelings of being useful and productive. Creating solutions for I WISH statements can add professional value to yourself and your business.
Please let me know Elise after you address an I WISH statement in the workplace and how it impacted your role as a professional. Thanks for the email; I wish you great success.
Mentor: A person with more experience and knowledge who shares their wisdom with a person with less experience and knowledge.
Research has shown that mentored relationships can encourage professional and personal success. Regardless of your age, gender, socioeconomic status, or professional interests, seeking and receiving effective guidance and advice from a mentor can encourage faster development and increase professional competitiveness. Yes, mentorships require time and effort but the outcome can often be more effective than most training or preparation programs.
For example, the University of Nevada hosts a college preparation program called Dean’s Future Scholars which uses a relational approach to mentor students into college. Since its foundation in 2000, DFS has established a homegrown, sustainable educational model resulting in a 90% high school graduation rate for first generation, low-income high school students. This is significant especially because Nevada’s high school graduation rate is only 54%.
The program traditionally recruits students during their sixth grade year and mentors them through high school and college. DFS college student mentors meet with their high school students every week to review grades, establish goals, fulfill high school graduation requirements, and plan for college opportunities.
DFS also hosts a six-week summer program at the University of Nevada to provide high school math credit courses, improve high school grade-point averages, and introduces students to college life while building sustainable academic networking skills. Free tutoring, examination preparation, internship opportunities, student job opportunities, and an array of student resources such as computers, printers, and a writing stations are available through the program. This long-term commitment allows first-generation, low-income students a greater chance for graduating from high school and entering college.
Dean’s Future Scholars, Big Brothers Big Sisters, National Mentoring Month, and Mentor are just some ways to enhance your personal and professional development. Ask a respected professional within your industry who has more knowledge and/or experience than you do, to be your mentor today. Just make sure that you are committed to work hard, listen to, and consider following your mentor’s suggestions. Having a trusted ally in your corner whose goal is for you to succeed is an effective strategy to improve your professional competitiveness.
Welcome to my blog.
I prepare international students, faculty, expatriates, and their families to successfully transition and adjust in the United States. My Ph.D. specializes in international education and this blog exists to help others relocating to the United States of America.