Recent discussions about publishing academic and scientific research as book chapters in edited volumes instead of as articles in scholarly journals have suggested that book chapters do not get cited nearly as often as journal articles do. With citation reports and impact factors so central to a successful academic or scientific career these days, it is natural to wonder whether there is any point in contributing chapters to edited volumes.
If citations are your main concern, then the answer may well be no, though accessibility is a key issue. If, for instance, the book is going to be released as an e-book that is searchable and accessible online, then your chapter will, at least theoretically, be as accessible as a journal article would be, provided you design your title, keywords and abstract (if one is included) in such a way that search engines will lead potential readers to your work. Yet many edited collections of essays are published only in print versions, at least for initial publication, and it is much less likely now than it was twenty years ago that a reader will find your chapter by chance while scanning a library shelf for writing on a given topic.
However, citations, as important as they may be, are usually not the only reason to publish research, and they certainly should not be. A book chapter often allows the author more scope and creativity to bring together ideas and theories and present them in original ways than a journal article does. An edited book of essays as a whole tends to gather together a variety of perspectives on a problem or phenomenon, producing a collection of considerable value for readers and especially for students and practitioners who are new to the subject or topic. In some instances, edited volumes will be used as instructional resources in courses, effectively becoming textbooks and influencing a new generation of scholars. Edited volumes will usually contain a few (or at least one) chapter by a well-established and well-cited academic or scientific author, and for contributors just beginning their careers, being published in close proximity to such scholars can be beneficial and suggest to employers and funding bodies that candidates have meaningful research connections.
There are, then, still some very good reasons to publish your research in edited volumes, and in the social sciences and humanities such collections remain common and books are still considered by some the gold standard of academic publication. If you are thinking of contributing a book chapter, however, do take a close look at the publisher, the volume’s editor(s) and the other contributors, as well as at the accessibility anticipated for the book, since these will be reliable indicators of the quality of the forthcoming volume, the ability of readers to find your work and the potential benefits for your research and career.
Why Our Editing and Proofreading Services?
At Proof-Reading-Service.com we offer the highest quality journal article editing, phd thesis editing and proofreading services via our large and extremely dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals. All of our proofreaders are native speakers of English who have earned their own postgraduate degrees, and their areas of specialisation cover such a wide range of disciplines that we are able to help our international clientele with research editing to improve and perfect all kinds of academic manuscripts for successful publication. Many of the carefully trained members of our expert editing and proofreading team work predominantly on articles intended for publication in scholarly journals, applying painstaking journal editing standards to ensure that the references and formatting used in each paper are in conformity with the journal’s instructions for authors and to correct any grammar, spelling, punctuation or simple typing errors. In this way, we enable our clients to report their research in the clear and accurate ways required to impress acquisitions proofreaders and achieve publication.
Our scientific proofreading services for the authors of a wide variety of scientific journal papers are especially popular, but we also offer manuscript proofreading services and have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit manuscripts in all scholarly disciplines, as well as beyond them. We have team members who specialise in medical proofreading services, and some of our experts dedicate their time exclusively to PhD proofreading and master’s proofreading, offering research students the opportunity to improve their use of formatting and language through the most exacting PhD thesis editing and dissertation proofreading practices. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation, polishing a progress report to share with colleagues, or facing the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of scholarly document for publication, a qualified member of our professional team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work.
If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.