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Workshops for AHSS Postgraduate Researchers, January 2021

Workshops for AHSS Postgraduate Researchers organised in January 2021 by AHSS Graduate Research Centre.

Dr. Niamh Nic Ghabhann, ADR and Dr. Niamh Lenahan, Research Co-ordinator As part of the AHSS Professional Development Programme for postgraduate researchers, a seminar on Academic Publications: Writing an article/chapter or book proposal was held on MS Teams. The seminar focussed on the preparation and submission by AHSS Faculty of publications to journals and book editors and also outlined the importance of publishing to postgraduates and early career researchers.

Dr. Niamh Nic Ghabhann, ADR, welcomed everyone to the seminar online and introduced the topic of the day with very helpful tips on publishing based on experience. Dr. Nic Ghabhann encouraged the students to be ambitious about their publishing and reminded them that getting published can be a slow process, from writing the article to receiving feedback from the editor(s). Everyone has a different experience and it is great to hear from our AHSS Faculty about their own experiences. It is a great feeling when your writing is accepted and published but it is also important to accept that proposals will be rejected and to reflect on the feedback as a reflection on the feedback received can be useful for future submissions. Students should not be discouraged from rejections, they should learn from the process. Students who wish to publish should become familiar with the publishing houses used within their department/school and contact the relevant editors.

Dr. Patrick Doyle, Department of Politics and Public Administration spoke about his own experiences. He gave a great understanding of developing his thesis into a book. Self-belief and holding onto the passion does help with the process. When putting together a proposal, Dr. Doyle told the students that publishing is a business and you need to convince the publishing house that it makes financial sense for them to publish your work. When writing your proposal, you should remember this as well as demonstrating your academic genius. Dr. Doyle also highlighted some items to remember when submitting your work such as sticking to the word count and organise and arrange permissions for items such as images. Dr. Doyle spoke about the importance of networking within the research postgraduate community to learn from each other.

Dr. Síle De Cléir,School of English, Irish and Cultural Communication gave an insight into the journey and timeline for completing the process of transforming a PhD into a book format. Dr. De Cléir asked students to have a vision for their book and then approach publishers who would fit this vision and who would be able to promote their book. Dr. De Cléir warned students about avoiding predatory publishers and publishing houses where it is too easy to get published. It was really interesting to see the timeline involved and the route undertaken in getting the thesis converted into a book format. Dr. De Cléir also referred to the benefits of publishing such as offers and opportunities that may arise from raising your profile.

Ashling Hayes, Head of Research Services in the Glucksman Library looked at reasons why researchers publish and reminded students that publishing is a tangible result of your research and is extremely important if you wish to pursue a role in academia. Ashling showed researchers how to identify reputable journals in their research areas and how to maximise the impact of their research. Students should consider the best fit for their research when publishing. They can choose to publish in a book format, article or have a conference paper published and to ensure that the publication is peer-reviewed. Ashling also discussed how to identify high-quality journals. An easy way to accomplish this is to look at journals that your colleagues use. This will help to speed up the process in identifying a suitable location for publication. It was extremely beneficial for the postgraduate researchers to hear from accomplished publishers within UL and to be given first-hand information on publishing strategies.

Dr. Niamh Lenahan thanked all the speakers for giving up their time and speaking to early career researchers on an important aspect of their study and hosted the questions on MS Teams.