Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Review editor's comment
While this book is not directly about training and development or human resource development, it has been reviewed in response to growing number of requests that I have received from practitioners and student/practitioners who seek a text on the topic area of the book.
In writing the first edition of this book in 1995 Abby Day was a professional editor and publisher. In the intervening years she has gained an MA and PhD from Lancaster University and is now engaged in postdoctoral research at the University of Sussex.
The second edition of the text contains two completely new chapters and 12 updated chapters, with new examples and revisions to take account of new practices or technologies. The audience for the book is suggested as being primarily academic, e.g. researchers and students. Potentially however it may also be of interest to practitioners seeking to publish dissertation or work‐based research in article format.
The author states:
For academics wishing to publish their work, the questions will always be the same: what is the best route to those I need to reach, how will it benefit them and me and how do I do it in the least amount of time with the most chance of success? This book is designed to help you answer these questions in a systematic logical format.
The structure of the book into three parts follows the aim set above in identifying three main elements which reflect the stages that prospective authors go through in working towards publication.
Part 1 covers considerations from the author's point of view in terms of setting objectives and what is described as focusing on the task ahead with economy and clarity. The five chapters Why publish? Why not Publish?; Purpose; So What? and Making Sense of Literature all provide a sequence of questions and ideas which progress the reader to the next stage.
Part 2, “Knowing your audience” is designed to help understand the needs of editors, publishers and readers. Implicit in this process is the aligning of the author's objectives with those of the appropriate audience. The two chapters in this section of the book are: Who are Editors and Reviewers? and Targeting Journals. Essentially the prospective author is placed in a larger chain covering the total publishing process and these chapters also view publication through the reader's eyes in terms of attracting and keeping the reader. One of the key questions posed is: who are you writing for?
Finally, Part 3 “From Draft to Print” gives advice on the detail of how to get the paper/article right and how to manage the publishing process. The five chapters in this section detail: Seven Days to a Finished Paper; Writing the Draft: Points of Style; Managing the Process; Keeping it Going.
The back cover outline of the book promises that the text focuses on helping people to overcome some of the most common obstacles to publication, such as lack of time, fear of rejection and conflicting priorities. These and other obstacles are identified and tackled in a practical manner which utilizes Abby Day's unique experience as both a publisher, editor, reviewer and author. In doing so she advises on identifying suitable journals and how to plan, prepare and compile a paper or article that will satisfy journal requirements.
What strikes the reader about the text is that if you carry out the research covered in Parts 1 and 2, the actual writing process becomes so much simpler because of the detailed preparation already carried out. The action points at the end of each chapter are enablers of this process as they each build upon each other and form a pragmatic means of applying the advice given throughout the book. This approach relies on common sense to demystify writing for the publication.
While the text may appeal to academics at the beginning of their writing career, it offers salutary advice to the more experienced author in terms of reviewing their own practice. Neither should the book be considered as being for academic readership only. Dr Day practices what she preaches throughout the text in terms of writing style and presentation. Additionally, her enthusiasm for, and experience of the subject are obvious and shared energetically with her reader, making the book an enjoyable and informative read on a subject which has received little coverage in book form.