The numbers moving from PhDs into a career in academia are shrinking, and the challenges to pursuing a career in research appear to be rising. So how can early career researchers best develop a body of published research, and what can the scholarly community do to better support people as they move into becoming published authors?
This was the theme of the first UK Taylor & Francis ‘Conversazione’ – an evening of discussion between early career researchers from the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and medicine and leading figures from learned societies, UK universities, research development agencies, publishing, and related industries. Throughout a lively evening of ‘state of the nation’ perspectives, covering everything from the Research Excellence Framework (REF) to the short termism of current PhD posts, some common themes arose:
1. It’s vital to be visible: early career researchers need to do good work, and then get that good work noticed. Developing skills in self-promotion are essential to furthering your career.
2. Early career researchers need to be given a voice: to talk about their research, the diversity of their career paths, and their publication strategies.
3. One size doesn’t fit all: different conventions and drivers to publish exist in different disciplines. Pressures to publish differ by region. We need to recognize that, and then adapt to it, in a world where journals, and research, is global.
4. Support, support, support: from workshops to industry discussions, online tools to individual credit for authorship, guidance on elements of the publishing process to journal mentoring programs, support is vital.
5. Let’s communicate and co-operate: developing the ‘conversazione’ between early career researchers, institutions, learned societies and publishers will help the research community move towards a culture where those at the start of their careers have the skills, knowledge and support to ‘publish and thrive’.
Do you agree with our five themes? What would help you ‘publish and thrive’? Tell us @tandfauthorserv, or get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.