A Publishing Perspective: Early Career Scholar and Humanities Journals Manager

Name: Dr. Guillaume Collett
Institution: Wiley, formerly University of Kent
Field of Study: Continental Philosophy
Bio: I was a researcher at the University of Kent, working on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, and since 2015 have been working in Social Sciences and Humanities journals publishing at Wiley. I’ve head the opportunity to work with many journal editors and early career scholars throughout my tenure.

 

What was the most difficult hurdle you had to overcome as a researcher?
The most difficult hurdle I had to overcome as a researcher was finding sources of funding. In the UK and US, for instance, universities offer more PhD places than there is funding available, both for the PhD research itself and for continued research once the PhD is over, or for permanent teaching posts, and increasingly universities are using the cheap, flexible labour of PhD students as an alternative to, rather than merely to supplement, permanent lecturing posts. As such, even after having completed the PhD research itself, researchers are often then sucked into years of temporary contracts with a high teaching load for little money, making finding time to publish early in one’s career both particularly difficult and crucial if one is to progress.

Did you feel you had enough resources at your disposal when you were crafting your research and submitting it to an academic journal?
I had adequate access to research materials and good support from my supervisor when it came to writing and publishing advice, but on the whole feel that I would have benefitted from more structured and strategically-minded guidance from the department at an earlier stage.

“…increasingly universities are using the cheap, flexible labour of PhD students as an alternative to, rather than merely to supplement, permanent lecturing posts.”

 

What advice would you offer the early career Humanities researcher?
My advice would be to publish as much as possible as early as possible, and if possible to tailor one’s research to fields likely to be growing in terms of funding and general interest in the scholarly community, as that is where the funding and jobs are likely to be. Furthermore, networking is of huge value, as is maintaining an informal network of contacts after graduating.

What do you wish someone “in the know” would have told you earlier in your career about the publishing process?
I was fortunate to have an overall positive experience when it came to publishing my work, though have had some experience of interminable delays waiting to hear back from editors about certain pieces of work. Finding out from colleagues and contacts about the reputation different publishing houses or journals have for their turnaround times before submitting would be helpful in this regard. Moreover, from working in publishing over the last two years, it has become clearer to me to what extent the visibility of your work is important, at least from the viewpoint of career progression. If this is important to you, be sure to adequately promote and publicise your work (and achievements more generally), in order to build up your public profile as a researcher, particularly on LinkedIn.

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