Academic and professional writing and publishing is a topic near and dear to anyone working as a faculty member in a university. It is a topic that has been the subject of debate and controversy for generations. I have just recently weighed into this swampy territory with “Professional and Scholarly Writing: Advice for Information Professionals and Academics,” Journal of Information Theory and Practice 3, no. 4 (2015): 6-16. I am sure some will dislike my perspective.
Here is the abstract:
There has been an explosion of new research and writing about all aspects of the information disciplines. Never- theless, both academics and practitioners often find it difficult to engage in successful writing strategies. Indeed, writing is hard work, and doing it in a way that leads to publication is an even harder task. Since reading is essential to good writing, the challenges of learning to write are obvious. In this essay, I am drawing on many years of experience in writing and publishing, as well as considerable reading of writers’ memoirs, advice books on writing, literary studies, and other perspectives on the experience of writing in order to offer a set of approaches that can be pursued over a lifetime of scholarship and practice. Writing is a craft or art to be learned, and learning demands paying attention to the audience, having clear objectives, being an avid reader, and possessing the ability to accept and learn from criticism. While information professionals and scholars incessantly write for each other, there are large segments of the public and other disciplines who they ignore. Fortunately, the tools and resources for improving one’s writing are both broad and deep; discipline and realistic strategies are all that are required to improve one’s writing and, ultimately, to achieve success in publishing.
This was originally a paper presented at the Archival Education and Research Institute (AERI) at the University of Maryland, College Park, July 2015.