Writing and Publishing: Resources for Researchers and Scholars

This guide is brought to you by the Office of Scholarly Communications, where our goal is to help you reach yours.

The Office of Scholarly Communications offers a variety of workshops, and we would be happy to custom-design one for your group.  If you would like more personal attention, contact Melody Herr for a one-on-one coaching session.   

About Melody: 

          Melody Herr serves as Head of the Office of Scholarly Communications at the University of Arkansas. She’s a scholar with a PhD in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from Johns Hopkins University; but she’s not a narrow specialist. Before coming to the U of A, she spent more than 16 years in acquisitions at university presses: Johns Hopkins University Press, Northern Illinois University Press, and the University of Michigan Press. During the course of her publishing career, Melody acquired books in a range of fields from regional topics, business history, and US history to law, political science, and international relations. As a result of this graduate training and professional experience, she is conversant with the sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences as well as with interdisciplinary scholarship.

           An author herself, Melody has published nonfiction and historical fiction for young readers as well as scholarly work.  Her most recent book is Writing and Publishing Your Book: A Guide for Experts in Every Field (Greenwood, 2017).

Writing and Publishing a Scholarly Book

Crafting Your Book Proposal and Attracting a Publisher

Format:  Presentation; participation from the attendees welcome

Time: 1.5 hours  

Substance:     

  • How to determine if a book is the right publishing option for you
  • How to construct a persuasive book proposal
  • How to identify potential publishers and determine which can best serve your goals

Choosing a Research Project

Format Option #1: Panel discussion featuring local faculty, mediated by Melody Herr

Format Option #2:  Group conversation over lunch/coffee, facilitated by Melody Herr

Time:  1 to 1.5 hours

Substance: 

  • How do you identify potential ideas for a research project?           
  • What are the hallmarks of a good topic/research question?
  • How much should your personal interests or personal passions influence your decision?
  • What are some of the warning signs that you may have chosen the wrong topic or research question?

Individual Appointments for Aspiring Authors

Format: One-on-one consultation with Melody Herr

Time:  30 or 60 minutes per appointment; authors who submit material in advance will receive more comprehensive feedback

Substance:

  • Feedback on book ideas, a table of contents, an introduction, or book proposal
  • Assistance with identifying potential publishers and developing a submission plan
  • Strategies for navigating peer review

Writing and Publishing a Journal Article

Publishing a Journal Article:  Panel  Discussion

Format: Panel, mediated speaker Melody Herr, featuring local faculty with  experience as journal editors, peer reviews, or authors

Time:  1 to 1.5 hours

Substance:

  • Choosing a journal for your work
  • Demystifying the peer review process
  • Understanding the journal editor's perspective

Selecting a Journal and Navigating Peer Review

Format: Presentation; audience participation is welcome

Time:  1 to 1.5 hours

Substance:

  • Identifying and evaluating appropriate journals
  • Avoiding predatory journals
  • Understanding the peer review process

Choosing a Research Project

Format Option #1: Panel discussion featuring local faculty, mediated by Melody Herr

Format Option #2:  Group conversation over lunch/coffee, facilitated by Melody Herr

Time:  1 to 1.5 hours

Substance: 

  • How do you identify potential ideas for a research project?           
  • What are the hallmarks of a good topic/research question?
  • How much should your personal interests or personal passions influence your decision?
  • What are some of the warning signs that you may have chosen the wrong topic or research question?

Individual Appointments for Authors

Format: One-on-one consultation with Melody Herr

Time:  30 or 60 minutes per appointment; authors who submit material in advance will receive more comprehensive feedback

Substance:

  • Assistance with identifying potential journals and developing a submission plan
  • Strategies for responding to reviews and revising the manuscript

Author/Creator Rights and User Rights

Integrity:  Publishing Your Own Work and Citing Others

Format:  Presentation; participation from the attendees welcome

Time: 1 hour 

Substance:     

  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Incorporating materials by other authors/creators (e.g., quotations, images) into your own work
  • Citing your sources properly

Understanding and Using Your Rights under US Copyright Law

Format:  Presentation; participation from the attendees welcome

Time: 1 hour 

Substance:     

  • Determining what rights you own
  • Safeguarding your rights
  • Sharing your work with other authors/creators