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Chapter in a book

(6 Posts)
Viewofhedges Fri 24-Nov-17 08:00:09

I’m very very new to academia after years in industry (so still pinching myself that I’m here!). A month ago I submitted my first ever chapter idea for a book and just found out it’s been accepted. I want to share my news with my colleagues but here is the embarrassing bit - I don’t know, is this good news (it is for me) or ‘meh’ news? Where do book chapters fit in all this? It’ll be my first ever piece of academic writing. Forgive the question but while my uni is really lovely in so many ways I don’t want to ask ALL of my questions there. They’ll wonder why they hired me!

Thetreesareallgone Fri 24-Nov-17 08:49:33

Viewofhedges well done! Getting on the publishing ladder is always a major achievement! In terms of book chapters, it depends on the discipline. Some disciplines, like humanities or philosophy, much writing is done in book chapters and if it's a prestigious book, then that's great news, and also REFable (well, it was last time). In some other disciplines, they rate book chapters less favourably than, say, a publication in a quality journal. One reason is that book chapters tend to be reviewed by the editors (who may be your friends/colleagues) rather than external peer reviewers.

As you can see, this is quite complex and there's no simple answer. I don't tend to publish book chapters, but some of my colleagues write lots of book chapters and also relish the freedom to think in them (can be less constricting than in some journals).

It might be worth you getting a mentor in your area- is there a more senior person who you could ask to mentor you to steer you through stuff like this and all the other decisions that will come up?

The good news is you have the book chapter. The bad news is...you have to write it! Good luck!

Viewofhedges Fri 24-Nov-17 13:25:28

Trees thank you so much for your reply. It is in the humanities so that’s good - and the editor is from a uni a continent away, so definitely not a close colleague.

You make an excellent point about getting a mentor in, so I’ll do that. And I’ll tell my HOD. Thank you. I’m so glad I posted as this is all great advice.

impostersyndrome Fri 24-Nov-17 16:36:32

Congrats. I agree with the above about how well it will be received. For your own sake, make sure it is a well-thought of editor (or, at least, one that has published widely, so has an established track record). Also check on the publisher. Lastly, ideally, check that you won't have restrictions on posting an author's version to your institutional repository. Otherwise, the book may be too expensive to be widely cited.

Viewofhedges Sat 25-Nov-17 09:33:20

Thanks again. More good tips about things I didn’t know. I think we are supposed to somehow just absorb this info from the air when we ‘become’ academics ... I do appreciate your insights.

Closetlibrarian Thu 30-Nov-17 16:01:04

View do you have a mentor at your institution? Your comment about having to 'pluck information out of the air' made me wonder. I agree that without someone more senior to guide you in these types of questions that it is all totally mysterious. If you don't have a mentor, then look into whether your HEI has such a scheme? Mine does, but you have to proactively ask to be assigned a mentor.

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