Sunday, July 6, 2014

Publish, Publish!

By Merja Drake, Finland (SUSI scholar 2014)

I arrived Ohio Athens about three weeks ago with 17 other scholars from 17 different countries. My first weeks here in  Study of the Athens U.S Institute (SUSI) on Journalism and Media have been very busy. Maybe too busy because I haven’t had enough time to meet my SUSI sisters and brothers – just lectures and homework. We had though a very nice trip to Hopewell - It is a beautiful place full of mystery. It is a mystery why and how Native Americans build these Mounds and what purpose these Mounds served. I also enjoyed the Tecumseh Outdoor Historical Drama.

I have experienced some really interesting presentations. For example the lecture by Professor Emeritus David Mould - just arriving form Malawi - was so far maybe one of the best.  His lecture was full of great information in a very hilarious form.
By the way he was the first Director of the SUSI on Journalism and Media program. He told us that after the first SUSI program ended: “I ran away screaming.”  Joking was he, wasn’t’ he? Scholars cannot be that bad?
Anyway I think that after David Moulds presentation everyone of us knows the structure of the academic article.It is now written in our backbones!

Publishing is really a big thing here – much bigger than in my home country. In every stage one is encouraged to publish.While writing their doctoral thesis students are almost like married with their advisors I learned. Well, well, I met my adviser three times in three yesrs - I think that we should change our systems!
In a picture Aimee Edmondson, Assistant Editor, Journalism History (left), Sandra Utt, Newspaper Research Journal (Middle) and Hugh Martin, Co-editor, Journal of Media Economics

Sandra Utt, Co-editor News Paper Research Journal and Associate Professor, University of Memphis urged us to “Be strategically smart and milk your research!” I was fool enough not to do so. Now I have to conduct a new resaerch and milk that one..

Finding the right journal is also very important on ones way to be a successful researcher.  Well, there are not many high impact journals in journalism era – but published is published – who cares about the rankings.

“Be respectful to editors”, Sandra Utt highlighted in the end of her presentation. I was not able to believe that somebody could mock the editors – how on earth are you going to get your paper published if you mock the editor?

According to Utt bad news is that there are also so called bad journals – journals that make you to pay to publish and then they run away with your money without publishing.  I once emailed with this type of a journal. They send me email saying that I had a wonderful presentation in a congress which was held in Poland and they would like to publish my paper. I checked the webpage and all the links they delivered to me – but I was not able to find even one single published article – nor was I able to find the journal in the library’s databases.  So, as much I hankered to publish my paper I did not respond their generous offer to publish my paper (with 200 euro). Sandra Utt emphasized that academic journals never ask money.

Utt gave us an example:
Read what this journal has to say and decide would you like your paper published in it

We also learned that the publishing process is very slow – in might take 2 to 3 years before your paper is published. In the social media research this timeline is impossible. What the social media seems today it is certainly not that tomorrow – it is a constantly changing chameleon and it is difficult to predict which social media platforms and applications live longer than a year or two.

So, I have to publish something more traditional. Here I have a good possibility to advertise my newest publication - I am one of the authors of the peer reviewed book called Sick Media - Tautinen media. What a shame it is written in Finnish.

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