DocShop 2022 reflected on the features of academic publishing

March 2, 2022

"DocShop 2022: the Arts of Academic Publishing" was organized by UniPID, The Finnish Society for Development Research (FSDR) the Doctoral Programme in Political Societal and Regional Change (PSRC) at University of Helsinki. The workshop was organized in connection with the annual Development Days Conference.

Together with the FSDR and the University of Helsinki, we annually organize DocShop, a workshop where we encourage doctoral researchers and interested supervisors to meet and discuss relevant issues related to development research and PhD training. Since 2016, we have had the pleasure to organize the event in connection to the annual Development Days Conference. This year the aim was to provide new insights and a guided discussion on the academic publishing, which is one of the most crucial issues of PhD training. DocShop 2022 focused on the lessons learned and current challenges related to publishing scientific articles in social sciences.

The 3-hour workshop gathered over 40 participants. The workshop was chaired by professor Anja Nygren (University of Helsinki). The invited speakers were professor Timothy Oakes (University of Colorado Boulder, USA) and Associate Professor Nikhil Anand (University of Pennsylvania, USA). The workshop started with an informal but guided discussion between Nygren, Oakes and Anand on academic publishing. The audience engaged in the discussion through questions. After the break, the workshop was followed by another session where Oakes presented practicalities related to publishing articles, after which Anand discussed publishing a monograph.

The discussion during the workshop was rich and conducive. Questions from the audience dwelt from review processes to ethical issues and co-authorship; from the role of publishing houses to the fluidity between disciplines. Both Oakes and Anand complimented the questions from the participants while also the audience was highly interested in listening to the reflections of Oakes and Anand.

In the second session, professor Oakes presented practical matter related to publishing articles. Oakes highlighted the role of cover letters when approaching the editors and also reflected personal experiences in dealing with rejections. Oakes reminded that engaging in the dialogue of your field of study is more important than changing the things you were criticized about. “You can argue with the reviewer, and that is also part of the process when developing your argument”, Oakes said.

Associate professor Anand introduced practicalities related to publishing a monograph. Anand explained that “your book should be a journey for the readers” as a way to approach also the writing process. Anand also explained that writing a monograph is often a slow process but at the same time exciting and rewarding while building your argument between different chapters of the book.

The participants of the workshop were provided with a fascinating discussion of the details of the academic publishing. The workshop showed that there is a need for dialogue and peer-support around the concerns and questions in academic publishing, especially among the early career researchers. UniPID wishes to contribute to this need also in the future through the Finnish development research doctoral network (DocNet) activities. Read more about DocNet here!

What’s next? SAVE THE DATE: DocNet Seminar will be held in Hyytiälä on 2.-3.6.2022. The members-only academic seminar aims at bringing together the DocNet doctoral researchers and interested supervisors from across the institutions and disciplines to facilitate networking and the exchange of knowledge and experiences. Want to hear more? Join DocNet here:

See who are the members of DocNet:

Photo credits: Omar Flores, 2019 on Unsplash