It might appear to be a daunting task to try and publish a piece of work on your own particularly if you are just starting out. It may be worthwhile to think about publishing with others. Working in writing teams can improve the quality of the manuscript by bringing together people with complementary areas of expertise and experience.

Co-publishing isn’t just confined to journal papers. Books are just as important in scholarly communication as journal articles. A journal paper often involves a small aspect of a particular subject whereas a book provides the opportunity to write about a subject in more detail using the knowledge and expertise from a group of individuals. Another idea to get yourself and your work noticed may be to present at a conference. This can include an oral presentation or a poster presentation. Either of these would allow you to co-publish and collaborate with other, and would allow the engagement of ideas with others through attending the conference.

Tip: If you are working on a project with others, this might be the opportunity to develop some publishing material

Other options

As your writing career progresses you may find yourself being asked to co-author academic books based on the knowledge you have demonstrated and shared through journal publications. As a potential co-author your idea for a book is usually presented to a publisher based on a detailed proposal which involves three key questions:

  • Why is this book different from other books?
  • Why should it be published?
  • Why am I qualified to write?

If co-authoring, it is important that you decide who the corresponding author is. This is the person who, should there be any changes to be made or any queries at a later date, the journal would deal with. It is important to establish this before submission.

Generate ideas

Co-publishing is also good for generating and refining ideas, as well as writing and revising work. It can also mean that the work is spread between a number of individuals. However, before you decide to co publish with others you may want to consider the following:

  1. What is the overall goal for the collaboration? Is it publication alone or does it include a conference presentation?
  2. When do you expect to start
  3. When do you expect to finish?
  4. What are the expected contributions of each participant? Who will do what?
  5. Who will write what? How much will they write?
  6. How, and by whom will final decisions be made? For example, which Journal?
  7. How and by whom will the manuscript be managed?
  8. What will be the criteria and the process for assigning authorship and credit?
  9. How will credit be attributed to each collaborator’s institution for public presentations, abstracts, and written articles?
  10. When and how will you handle intellectual property and patent applications?
  11. What will be your mechanism for communications among members of the writing team (to ensure that all appropriate members of the team are kept fully informed of relevant issues?)
  12. How will you decide about redirecting the work if you receive feedback about the manuscript?
  13. Should someone from the writing team move to another institution or leave the how will you manage the writing and submission of the manuscript?