I recently had the opportunity to publish a paper with the School Libraries Worldwide (SLW) Journal. It came off the back of finishing my thesis; my supervisor shared the call for submissions from SLW with me, saying I should send in my work. At first, I was hesitant because I couldn’t see why anyone would want to read my work, but then I thought “why not?!”…. and now I’m published!
It was such an interesting process. The first thing I had to do was cut my thesis down from 16,000 words to 6,000 words – a feat in it’s own right. I had to assess readability and just how much detail my audience would need. I ended up asking my husband to read the final fruits of my labor as I felt too close to it. It was making sense to me, but I knew all the gory details. I needed someone with fresh eyes to look over it and tell me whether it made sense, just in case I’d cut something vital out in my editing phase. Turns out it was all ok and I sent off my submission.
After waiting a little while I received an email stating that they were interested in my article, pending peer review. This process was brutal but so good for me. Three anonymous people critiqued my work and gave me some of the most intense feedback I have received on my work, ever. It was difficult sorting through the three different opinions; it was my responsibility to determine what I needed to change based the feedback. This was tricky as sometimes the reviewers were contradicting each other. I also had to present a summation of the changes I’d made based on the feedback. I eventually got it done and sent back.
Shortly after, I received an email saying that the changes I’d made were accepted and that we were now into the editing phase. This was an interesting process and I certainly learned a lot about writing for an academic journal. The editor was lovely, and overall it was a quick and painless process.
And so, I am now a published author of a peer reviewed journal article in School Libraries Worldwide. I am ridiculously proud of myself for taking the chance and working towards this goal. I am extremely grateful to my supervisor for believing in me and my work, and to my husband for reading it and telling me that yes, I do actually know what I’m talking about and it’s worth submitting… I am looking forward to going through the process again at some point! If you’re interested, the bibliographic details to find my article are below.
Gagen-Spriggs, K. (2020). An Investigation into the Reasons Students Read for Pleasure. School Libraries Worldwide, 26(1), 110–123. https://doi-org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.14265.26.1.009