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Academic Book Week visits Stirling

February 3rd, 2017 by Aleksander Pęciak | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Academic Book Week visits Stirling
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A logo for Academic Book Week 2017: A yellow pile of books with yellow text below: Academic Book Week 2017. Dates are located below the name of the event: 23RD - 28TH. All elements of the logo are based on a black background.There are not many opportunities to get to know something more about academic publishing outside the course, so I enthusiastically attended the workshop “Academic Publishing – Routes to Success” organised on Monday, 23rd of January. Although the whole event was aimed at postgraduate students interested in pursuing their academic careers, publishing students also found it helpful, as discussions and talks given by speakers explained the processes of communication between researchers and publishers.

Academic Book Week is a week-long celebration that focuses on the issues around academic publishing and relationships between academic books’ authors, publishers and readers. Started in 2015 as a centerpiece of the Academic Book of the Future Project, Academic Book Week continues to deliver essential information and tools that can positively aid all parts in the area and creates space for lively debates.

“Academic Publishing – Routes to Success” was the first workshop organised in this year’s edition of the event – it was arranged by researchers on the Peer Review project, Professor Claire Squires, Dr Simon Rowberry, and Dr Dorothy Butchard. The workshop was divided into five sessions, covering different aspects of academic: Monograph Publishing Round Table, with Dr Andrea Schapper, Dr Timothy Peace, and Dr Kelsey Williams (University of Stirling), Peer Review and the Postgraduate Experience, Open Access with Dr Betsy Fuller (University of Stirling), Journal Publishing, with Dr Chris Gair (University of Glasgow), Social Media and Blogging to Develop and Communicate Research, with Nicola Osborne (EDINA, University of Edinburgh). The sessions took nearly seven hours and between them, attendees received a proper lunch and beverages.

The Monograph Publishing Round Table was a panel discussion moderated by Professor Claire Squires – researchers representing different scientific backgrounds, who were already experienced with publishing their monographs, shared their views on the topic and advice for current PhD students. Then, in the second session, Dr Dorothy Butchard introduced the audience to the ideas behind peer reviewing and revealed how the whole process looks like in practice. The session was finished with a discussion about the most current issues in academic publishing, where the audience was first shared into smaller groups and then presented their opinion on the topic. The Open Access workshop delivered by Dr Betsy Fuller clarified the concept of OA, explained differences between its models, presented possible ways of being published and where to find funds for that.

The part of the workshop that I found most useful and informative for publishing students was presented by Dr Chris Gair from the University of Glasgow, editor of Symbiosis: A Journal of Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations. His whole presentation shed a light on journal publishing and explained how to maintain a perfect strategy to have your article published.

During the last session, Nicola Osborne, Digital Education & Service Manager from EDINA, demonstrated the way of effective scientific communication on social media platforms, as well as how to use blogs to share and sell researcher’s ideas. From the perspective of a publishing student who wants to work in academic publishing in future, researchers popular on social media and representing a decent and engaging style of writing would make perfect authors to be published and promoted.

All the workshops and discussions clearly proved that to be successful nowadays researchers should be not only skilled in writing and researching the areas of their studies but in maintaining their own brand and effective communication on social media as well. With dynamic changes around academic publishing, they need to take care of their image and its recognition in the community of academics and publishers.

SYP Scotland: Editorial: First Draft to Finished Book #SYPedit

November 1st, 2016 by evangelia_kyriazi-perri | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on SYP Scotland: Editorial: First Draft to Finished Book #SYPedit
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On Thursday 27th October, the Society of Young Publishers (SYP) Scotland organised the first editorial event of the year, which took place in Edinburgh at the David Hume Tower. If you are considering a career in the publishing industry, editorial is one of the top choices on the list, functioning as the fundamental department of a publishing company.

The panel of the event, chaired by Rosie Howie, Publishing Manager of Bright Red, consisted of three highly experienced people in editorial departments: Jo Dingley of Canongate Books, the freelancer editor Camilla Rockwood and Robbie Guillory of Freight Books. All speakers shared their experiences on publishing and the reasons why they chose editorial in particular.

Most of the speakers started as editorial assistants, making their way up as editors. All of them emphasized the fact that editorial is a matter of choice and discovery, with Jo and Camilla highlighting the special moment when they get the finished book on their hands, as a reward of working in editorial and one of the top reasons they chose it as a career path.

Communicating with the author and establishing a close relationship with him is an essential part of working in editorial. Apart from the strong engagement with the author, commissioning editors tend to work directly with the author’s agent as well. One of the key parts of editorial, after author care, is to read carefully the manuscripts and share your opinion with the editorials colleagues at weekly meetings, as Jo points out.

People who work in editorial spend a large amount of time considering submissions and familiarising with the house style. Editors and proofreaders should be careful “not to get involved with the content of the manuscript when editing one”, Camilla warns. A useful advice was the fact that editors should be careful with judgement and suggestions as some authors get quite sensitive and over-protective of their manuscripts. This is the reason why editors should approach authors carefully when answering to queries, encouraging face to face meetings with them.

Robbie emphasized that editorial is not “exam marking”, it is a service: “editing is not about eliminating errors; you’ve got to be really curious about things and ideas”. This is one of the hard parts of the job, along with the fact that editors have to manage authors’ expectations, as the target is to keep the cost as low as possible. Jo advised that it is important for editors to be friendly and give reasons to potential rejections of manuscripts: “You should give feedback to rejections and explain what you are looking for at the moment, by giving more information”.

For students who are particularly interested in editorial, all the speakers advised to “put yourself out there” and find internships and work placements for experience. Furthermore, as Camilla suggested, even working in retailing as a bookseller, offers you experience and shows that you are interested in the publishing industry. Familiarising yourself with software such as InDesign, Photoshop and Microsoft Excel, in addition of being aware of new technology and tools is essential. One of the most important advice was also being active on social media and knowing what’s current in the industry. Although it’s a highly competitive industry, all the panel encouraged people who pursue a career in editorial “not to give up”, as trying other areas of publishing is a great way to end up in the department they desire.

By Elina Kyriazi-Perri