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Workshop on Publishing at the United Nations

Experts working with the United Nations devote much of their time to talking or listening about timely issues, but their writing is typically limited to internal technical reports--so the publication of their work to a larger audience is a valued goal.

by Harold Takooshian, PhD, Chair, NGO Human Settlements Committee
& Uwe P. Gielen, President, APA Division of International Psychology

“How can people involved in international issues best publish their work as articles, books, or chapters?”

This question was the focus of a session at the United Nations on March 20, where a dozen folks representing several diverse committees participated in a first-ever workshop on “Publishing your international work: Why and how?”  A panel of seven experienced editors reviewed diverse forms of publication.

Uwe Gielen, President of the International Division of the American Psychological Association, focused on publishing books, and the new international book series he edits with Psychology Press. Like other book publishers, he increasingly seeks handbooks and textbooks on timely topics—such as internationalizing the curriculum, working with international students, or cross-cultural testing. 

Paul Dukes of Taylor & Francis, focused on avoiding common errors in submitting a book proposal.  He advised potential book authors to check on-line his 8-point sheet covering all aspects of preparing a solid proposal, www.psypress.com/info/proposal.asp

Harold Takooshian, of the International Psychology Bulletin from APA's Division 52 (International), focused on publishing brief research articles on timely topics in periodicals which often seek 1,000-word reports, such as his IPB (at www.internationalpsychology.net). Brief reports are also published in APA's international newsletter, Psychology International.  He noted that once published, reprints of these articles can serve as a convenient way for authors to share their work with others at conferences. He also advised researchers to check their own name in little-known yet powerful www.scholar.google.com, as an alternative to traditional databases, since this not only accesses full-text articles, but also those articles which cited them.

Parviz Morewedge, Director of Global Scholarly Publications, focused on the publication of books and journal articles in area studies—Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, www.gsp-online.org. He described how those who organize an international conference on a specific theme can then convert this into a more permanent multi-authored volume to share with a much larger audience.

Editors Robert Rieber and Rafael Javier of the Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless discussed the possibility of editing special issues on timely international topics, to bring together a dozen contributors on a single theme, which can also be marketed as a separate volume—such as their journal’s recent issues on terrorism, the impact of urbanization, climate change, and international adoption of children.

Joshua Fogel, Editor of the Internet Journal of Mental Health, reviewed the pros and cons of publishing research in an internet-based periodical, which reaches more readers at less expense than a conventional journal.  He also discussed the advantages of teaming with a student as co-author, as well as the importance of a periodical’s “impact factor”—how often it is cited by others.

Experts working with the United Nations devote much of their time to talking or listening about timely issues, but their writing is typically limited to internal technical reports--so the publication of their work to a larger audience is a valued goal.  While half of the participants in this workshop already published at least one book, all expressed interest in increased publication of their work, as a means of extending their ideas and findings to much larger audiences. This workshop was organized by the UN Human Settlements Committee, in cooperation with other UN committees.  Based on popular interest, this workshop will likely be repeated and enlarged in Fall 2008. Please direct any inquiries to Harold Takooshian by clicking on this link.