Some writers are dedicated to time in the seat and generate plenty of quantity of work, but something is amiss with the quality of the writing that prevents them from getting published. I work with faculty to improve the coherence and messaging in their work so that they can increase their publication rate.
Didi was a highly regarded pre-tenure professor. She had already acquired several high profile grants in her short career. But she struggled with getting papers accepted for peer review. After a third-year review that raised flags about her potential to get tenure, she came to me asking for help with breaking the gridlock of getting her articles published.
Didi did not struggle with productivity–she had written and submitted several articles for review. Many spun in the “review and resubmit” cycle for over a year before finally being rejected.
I worked with Didi to architecturally revise her article. Her research design and ideas were solid, but she was not communicating her ideas clearly in her work.
Working in tandem on a shared Google doc, I helped Didi to move the most important ideas to the beginning of paragraphs and important paragraphs to the beginning of sections. We worked on the flow of paragraphs in the introduction section especially. I also helped to break long sentences and complex ideas into simpler concepts.
Working with me, she published 4 articles in 18 months and got herself back on track for tenure.
Other writers communicate their ideas well, but their topic/research focus does not fit within the prescribed boxes of departments and genres. I work with these writers to communicate their message across platforms and disciplines to explain their unique contribution more effectively.
Brandon’s work in psychology and in mathematics teaching bridged two fields and called attention to issues of bias and discrimination within these fields. His work was I call living on the “diagonal”—drawing upon ideas from two disciplines to form a third body of scholarship. He published prolifically but often in lower tiered journals because the main journals of psychology and of mathematics teaching did not have much scholarship in this joint type of scholarship. Sometimes Brandon’s work would be rejected without being sent out for review due to “fit.”
I worked with Brandon to focus on the introduction and discussion sections of his paper. He had to spend extra time explaining for the legitimacy of his work. He needed to use creativity and his passion to show the contribution of his original work at connecting fields together.
When it came time for tenure, I worked with Brandon to craft a narrative statement to explain his choice of journals, aligning them to his purpose and values, and showing his trajectory of research and goals for his scholarship -moving forward. He learned that he received tenure based on his ability and the ability of his external reviewers to articulate the connection between his purpose and his choices of how he designed his scholarship.