The Simple Essentials of Publishing

The process for academic publishing can appear frustrating and overwhelming, even for the most practiced scholar. It is tempting to get too caught up in the intricacies of research, publishers, and the peer community; however, focusing too much on the larger issues and forgetting the fundamentals can lead to a stressful and unproductive journey through the process.  The following basic tips can help when entering the rewarding world of publishing.

There is a place and a time for writing. Have a firm idea of where your workspace is and when you will be working there. It is important to pick a place and a time that will be reliably free of distraction. Keep it consistent from day to day.

Do not try to conquer the world all at once. You may be eager to start impacting minds, but it is often more fruitful to work in smaller, more productive sessions. Trying to get it all down at one time can over-tax your time and energy.

Keep it close until it’s done. It is tempting to share your work with others to make certain that you are on the right track. The input of others, at this stage, could blur your original intent and negative feedback can convince you that your concept is overdone and not worth pursuing. Remember, this is your work and what you create will always be original.

Open up and share. When your draft is complete, bring in as many trusted peers as you can round up. Not all of their advice will be helpful, but be receptive to it. Ask them to be as descriptive in their feedback as they can, and notice trends between critiques.

Rewrite until you get it right. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Get feedback the entire way.

Know your publishers before they get to know you. Research the journals or publishing houses that you intend to send your manuscript to. Recognize what subjects they tend to print and verify that they are the right ones for your work. If you are unsure, e-mail the editor. Don’t waste time and resources sending to publishers who have no interest in your particular piece.

Don’t give up. Scholars, especially those new to publishing, will face a lot rejection. It is important to see each one as another stepping-stone towards an eventual success. Keep writing and rewriting. Keep submitting.

Good luck to academic authors! Let us know of your publishing experiences in the comments below.

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The New Academic: Electronic Publishing

The article Scholarly Communication and the Continuum of Electronic Publishing is an interesting read for any publishing academic, as it addresses a many Internet publishing concerns. Its three elements of the scholarly publishing model represent the same sharing, communicating, and support that Scholar Hero promotes.

The power to publish.

Empower what you publish.

Publicity: “Primary and secondary audiences may learn of its existence.”

Scholar Hero creates a social space for scholars to share their research for others to find.

Let your voice be heard by others. (Photo Source: Garry Knight http://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/)

Let your words be seen and your voice be heard. (Photo Source: Garry Knight http://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/)

Trustworthiness: “The document has been through some social processes that assure readers that they can place a high level of trust…”

Scholar Hero offers a system where peers can send and reserve trusted critique that assures a high quality for their work.

Reach the right peers. (Photo Source: buddawiggi http://www.flickr.com/photos/buddawiggi/)

Reach the right peers. (Photo Source: buddawiggi http://www.flickr.com/photos/buddawiggi/)

Accessibility: “Readers must be able to access the document…”

At Scholar Hero, accessibility means “ease.” Our products curb the hassle of peer review by offering a fun and intuitive interface.

A digital handshake never out of reach. (24oranges.nl http://www.flickr.com/photos/24oranges/)

A digital handshake never out of reach. (24oranges.nl http://www.flickr.com/photos/24oranges/)

Scholar Hero thinks critically about academia as it adapts to 21st century technologies. By keeping these three elements in mind, our products will always be relevant to the needs of the modern scholar.

Nathan Repp is a writer for Scholar Hero, Inc.

We’re All Scholars: Broadening the Scope of Our Company

Scholar Heroes Lee and Mike, reporting for duty. (Photo courtesy of http://theworldbelongstothosewhohustle.com)

We we began this journey to be “Scholar Heroes” months before we even called ourselves that. We wanted to improve academia for the better and invent new tools that would change the way we create knowledge forever.

Then the obvious question struck: who exactly are we trying to help?

We limited ourselves to the plight of those who pronounce themselves to be in the academy: graduate students, doctorates, post-doctorates, new faculty, and so forth. We remain convinced that their concerns are paramount to the continued success of knowledge production in our nation and beyond. However, as we engaged with other people in the university environment, we realize that our scope has been far too narrow.

What about the plight of….

University students?

Such attire is permissible if and only if you’re about to launch a multi-billion dollar company. Also, kids, don’t drop out of college.

Many members of our own team express the same concerns that their teaching assistants and professors do: hyper-competition, a lack of collaboration, an absence of support. These problems are exacerbated by other factors such as the size of the school as well as the presumed prestige of the institution in itself, but virtually every student shares these experiences.


High school students?

He aspires to attend Oxford or the Sorbonne, with Harvard as his safety. Also, he’s one of the worst students at his school.

The competition to get into a top university has never been greater, and prospective applicants must ensure that they are able to catch the eyes of these admissions committees. Moreover, even if students do get admitted, several studies show that these many seem to lack the fundamentals necessary to perform adequately

International students?

Source: PhD Comics (www.phdcomics.com)

More and more students now come from abroad to earn that highly coveted United States-accredited degree. These students provide a wonderful opportunity for the international academic community to grow their networks and strengthen their knowledge base. However, typically these students possess impressive skills in one field yet show a dearth in another, leading to a frustrating experience for both students and instructors.

The list of groups that could potentially benefit from Scholar Hero go on, but for now, we’ve decided to build our first product with the interests of these three in mind in addition to our primary group. In other words, we’re looking out for Scholar with a big S, the precocious knowledge seeker who constantly inquires, perpetually distributes, and relentless improves upon their body of knowledge.

Support Scholars. Accelerate Knowledge. Somehow that phrase rings louder than it ever has before.

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How can we help you?

 

What it Means to Be a Scholar Hero: A Mission for 2013

Our new name.

Our new name.

It’s been nearly three months since our last post, and so much has happened since then. To give you a quick list of the major events of our project:

  • Incubation: We were selected as one of the finalists for the Business Bout, a competition run by The Thrill Mill, a Pittsburgh not-for-profit that wants to get involved with the booming start-up season. Our reward was a full-year of incubation, which includes free rent, legal support, and access to the business “in-crowd” in Pittsburgh. Suffice to say, we’re pretty ecstatic about that. Our participation was even recently featured in the Pittsburgh Business Times, among other news outlets.

    hustleden_page_logo1

    Our new home.

  • Incorporation: With the security of incubation, we moved forward and finally became incorporated in the state of Delaware on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of this year. However, we remain fully committed to exercising our business here in Pennsylvania and contributing to the local and state economy.
  • Identification: We changed our name. Formerly (and informally) known as “Academica” from Startup Weekend, we changed the name to Scholar Hero and incorporated as “Scholar Hero, Inc.”

The last one needs a bit more elaboration. In a sentence, we wanted to be search-friendly, and masquerading under a “.me” domain wasn’t helping our chances. Some people complained that they couldn’t find us, and others even wondered if we wanted to be found. Thus, we went back to basics and collectively came up with a name that encapsulated our mission completely: Scholar Hero.

Unlike these gentlemen, we’ll honor our Prime Directives.

Our “Prime Directives” remain the same:

  • Create a space for scholars to collaborate in a positive and potentially fun manner
  • Reduce some of the excessive, sometimes exploitative costs that come with participating in the academy
  • Make the overall life of the scholar a much more manageable one

We also have a few more productivity goals that we aim to hit:

  • To go into private beta by June 2013 at the absolute latest (we’ll create a wait-list for this very soon)
  • To go into public beta by September 2013, meaning we’ll be accessible to everyone
  • To do at least a weekly post (now that we have your attention) on this blog

So what does it mean to be a Scholar Hero? Follow our site or get in touch with us and we’ll find out together. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and if you’re willing to join us, contact us here. We’re looking to fill a lot of positions and maybe increase our partnerships, which you can find out about at our Careers page.

“Let’s get hustlin’.”

Lee Ngo
Founder and Executive Director
Scholar Hero