Academic publishing and interviewing: first steps

I took my first steps into the world of academic writing and publishing last week when my supervisor informed me that we are going to submit my work on the Modular Training for Industry project in an appropriate journal.

I have been working with Tee Nadan and Kimberley Watson of the School of Biological Sciences here at Reading to develop the Existing and Emerging Biotechnologies (EEB) Framework, initially as a placement student under the University’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) and now funded by Digitally Ready. 

Obviously, Tee could have just gone ahead giving me instructions to start the write up, but instead she pointed me few journal links, and started explaining about Journal Impact Factor, author guidelines, journal scope, Google Scholar, and the importance of publication, citations and Research Excellence Framework, things that I never imagined before. Suddenly, academic writing became clear to me and I developed much appreciation for all the authors who successfully published before.

I was then given the task to go through the author guidelines and journal scopes of few selected journals where we could publish the works done. Subsequently, I spent a large portion of the day reading journal papers, author’s guides and learning the process of submitting a journal article. It was quite interesting to note that some papers published online would take approximately eight months be printed, and the option of online and paper subscriptions. I then produced ideas for our paper, and a possible title,  following which I applied the format template of the authors guide to come up with specific sections for the paper and subtitles. The process on a whole has given me a taste of the world of academic writing.

This Monday, I had the opportunity to attend a talk by our Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International and External Engagement Steven Mithen, an opportunity for me to know a bit more about the University’s plans for internationalisation, a central aspect of my current work with Tee.

My work today mostly included the pre-preparation to a student’s interview, and we’re proud to say we recorded it in one go. The student in particular was very comfortable in front of the camera. We were interested in recording an interview with him to showcase our students who undertake placements abroad, in his case a research placement at the University of Hong Kong. It was interesting to hear about his experiences in a completely different cultural environment and how he adapted to these changes. Hopefully once the video will be uploaded on our blog, it will serve as inspiration to the undergraduates in our department.

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