Saturday, 11 February 2012

Writing for Publication

On Tuesday 31st January I attended an event coordinated by CILIP in London and Library and Information Research Group entitled 'Writing for Publication'. Having my name in print has long been an ambition of mine that I have yet to realise so I thought this would be a great opportunity to give me the push I needed. My problem is that I have lots of ideas but have struggled to tie them down - I'm also not sure where to start.

The morning started with introductions from Alison Brettle and Christina Irving, members of the Library and Information Research Group. We then introduced ourselves to the small groups we were seated in and discussed our writing experiences; people seemed to have very similar ones, for example, a few had had some previous experience of writing blogs and newsletters but had not written formally. I fit into this bracket too as I have my blog, tweet fairly regularly and have written up an event for Eclipse - the CILIP in South East newsletter, but haven't really done anything else.

In our groups we discussed the reasons why writing is important for the profession. These were;
  • for the promotion of the service
  • for passing on and recording knowledge
  • a chance to reflect
  • respect amongst peers and colleagues
  • a way of sharing best practice
  • preventing the reinvention of the wheel
  • a way of engaging in critical thinking
We then discussed the challenges and barriers we often face. We all have different ways of writing and some people are lucky enough to have it scheduled into their workload. However, as this is not always possible we were given some tips, such as bounce ideas off people before writing and find a suitable environment.Other tips were:
  • Find out the guidelines and expectations of journals before sending copy, perhaps asking the editor your topics fits their scope
  • Think about your audience
  • Try critically appraising articles to discover what works and what doesn't
  • Try writing literature reviews as  it gives a chance to practice writing and find out what works are already available
  • Try writing book reviews
Overall, I'm glad I attended the course and found it useful. It helped to bring together a lot of information and tips and more importantly give me the inspiration and motivation I need.

My next plan is to choose a topic, possibly something related to web safety as this is a large part of my job at the moment and can be a very emotive subject or something related to how Learning Resource Centres can support higher education courses in the future as students will be paying much more and have unrealistic expectations of what they will receive in return. Will keep you posted!

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