During the summer, educators often search for ways to take advantage of time away from the daily grind of the classroom to expand their own professional development. The truth is the need for continued professional development doesn’t stop just because you’ve earned a graduate or terminal degree. If you’re looking to take that next step in positioning yourself as an expert in your field, getting published is a great way to do it.
Not yet convinced? Here are 5 reasons to get published this summer:
- Credibility. Having your work published in a peer-reviewed journal is an affirmation of your expertise, the quality of your research, and your credibility as a scholar. While it requires time and plenty of effort, publishing in peer-reviewed journals looks great on a CV or resume, and shows that you are committed to expanding your professional development as an educator and contributing to your profession.
- Dissemination. By sharing the results of your study, you are disseminating valuable information to the public. “In my opinion, publishing is the best way to share information with the people who can use it, such as policy makers, physicians, educators and corporate leaders,” says Dr. Kristin O’Byrne, core dissertation chair at Northcentral University. “Published research often informs practice, which is why publishing is so important. If your study can really have an impact, I feel there is a moral imperative to share this information by publishing it.”
- Time. Getting published takes time—time you don’t normally have outside of the classroom. If your summer schedule is more flexible, try setting aside time to either work on a manuscript or begin researching a few journals that may be a good fit for your research. Even for those who don’t have summer off, it can be a great time of year to kick-start publishing goals. “Sometimes we need kick-starts (like New Year’s),” admits Dr. O’Byrne. “Publishing isn’t something that happens overnight, which makes the summer a great length of time to pursue these opportunities.”
- Practice. It can be easy to ignore some of your better habits during the summer when all you really want to do is pick up the latest New York Times best seller, spend more time with your family and take a vacation or two. But writing is a skill that requires frequent practice. Working on a manuscript will not only help you keep up on your writing skills, but will also give you the opportunity to work on something that actually has the potential to further your career.
- Collaboration. If you don’t have a lot of publishing experience, you might consider publishing with a co-author, such as a colleague, dissertation chair or mentor who has the experience to help you achieve your goals. For example, Dr. O’Byrne will be co-publishing with one of her recent doctoral graduates, Dr. Anta Moore, who won the 2014 Dissertation of the Year award at NCU. “When one is publishing in a peer-reviewed journal, there is a distinct process, and feedback can be difficult to sort and cumbersome in terms of how to address it,” acknowledges Dr. O’Byrne. “There is also the element of choosing the appropriate journal to publish in, which comes with experience as well.”
These are just a few reasons to get published this summer, but in reality, there is no perfect time to do it. Consider where you are in your career and where you want to be. Think about what research you’ve already completed, and what research you still want to do. Yes, you have your whole career ahead of you, but it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about these things now and take that next step towards expanding your professional development as an educator.