Harzing.com blog 5 years old!

Celebrating my blog's fifth anniversary with a recap of the most read blogs

This month I am celebrating my blog's 5th anniversary. The 5th year saw 46 postings, i.e. nearly one a week, less than the bumper 1st year with 73 postings, but similar to the 2nd, the 3rd and the 4th year. My blog now has well over 250 postings, so for easier access I decided to create a static web page listing all significant postings by topic: Working in academia.

The 5th year of my blog stood in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to bringing sorrow and hardship to many, it also meant increased workloads. The move to online teaching, job cover for those who fell ill, moving our Middlesex writing bootcamp online, combined with the 2021 REF submission meant that the traditionally quiet times in the year used for blogging evaporated.

Fortunately, I had written up two 8-part blogpost series in the Summer of 2019 on Social media in academia and How to avoid a desk-reject, which were both launched in 2020. Both series turned out to be very popular and feature below. Another feature of the COVID-19 year was moving the meetings for our CYGNA women's network online and increasing their frequency. An overview of our monthly online meetings to date can be found in a separate section below.

The COVID-19 pandemic also led us to support PubMed searches in Publish or Perish.  Finally, I learned video-editing and launched my own YouTube channel - Harzing Academic Resources - and started to match blogposts with their accompanying videos. The most popular ones in this category are also featured below.

Publish or Perish rules supreme

As in previous years, posts about Publish or Perish are always among the most popular. With head and shoulders above the rest, was a post introducing a new version of Publish or Perish, version 7, which now also features a native Mac version of the software. You no longer need a virtual machine with Windows inside as you did for previous versions of Publish and Perish. If you haven't updated your PoP version 4, 5 or 6 yet, please do so as soon as possible.

Other blogposts related to Publish or Perish also featured heavily in the most popular list. Two 2016 and 2017 postings about journal submission and literature reviews retained their popularity, joined by a new 2019 posting which provides a quick overview of PoP's most frequent use cases and a 2020 posting on a new PoP feature: the exporting of abstracts for further analysis.

Where to submit your paper? Which journals publish on your topic
Shows how to use Publish or Perish to find out which journals publish on your topic

Using Publish or Perish to do a literature review
Shows you how to do a comprehensive literature review with Publish or Perish

How to use Publish or Perish effectively?
Presents the slides of a Bibliometrics Summer School session in July 2019

New: Publish or Perish now also exports abstracts
Introduces a new Publish or Perish feature: exporting of publication abstracts

How to avoid a desk-reject?

My blogpost series on how to avoid a desk-reject in seven steps clearly struck a chord with academics. The first installment of this 8-part blogpost series almost matched the PoP blogposts in popularity this year. Make sure you make it to the end though as every element of this 7-step process is crucial. For targeting journals also look at my YouTube video on this topic.

  1. Who do you want to talk to? Targeting journals
  2. Your title: the public face of your paper
  3. Writing your abstract: not a last-minute activity
  4. Your introduction: first impressions count!
  5. Conclusions: last impressions count too!
  6. What do you cite? Using references strategically
  7. Why do I need to write a letter to the editor?

Research write-ups: Language-sensitive research in IB

In a year where time for research was almost non-existent, it was reassuring to learn that my Language in IB research is here to stay; it is still my most viewed research program. Three blogposts on language-related topics also featured high up in the ranking of most-read posts.

Language barriers in multinational companies
Reviews my research on the role of language in MNCs between 2003 and 2013

How to manage multi-lingual teams?
Discusses Helene Tenzer's exciting research about the challenges of multi-lingual teamwork

Language in International Business: A review and agenda for future research
A new online paper reviewing 264 articles on language in IB

Academic Etiquette

Two 2016 and 2017 blogposts that deal with ways to address academics, either as a student or as a fellow academic seem to have turned into perennial favourites. However, the other Academic Etiquette posts such as Would you ask a male academic the same question?, Thank You: The most underused words in academia? and Please be polite and considerate are also worth a read.

How to address other academics by email?
Provides suggestions on the best way to address academics by email

How to address your lecturer?
Shows how countries differ in their expected way of address for teachers.

Blogposts with videos: a perfect match?

How to create a sustainable academic career
Reports on Martyna Sliwa's presentatioin on career progression in the UK higher education environment 

How to measure research impact: YouTube series
Collates twelve mini-videos on measuring research impact based on an interview with Vas Taras

How to improve your research impact: YouTube series
Collates eighteen mini-videos on how to improve your research impact, based on a presentation at Middlesex University

CYGNA: REF and Christmas during a pandemic
Reports on our 36th CYGNA meeting with a presentation on REF for Early Career Researchers and a Christmas celebration

CYGNA online meetings

Since founding CYGNA in 2014 we have had 30 physical meetings. When COVID-19 hit we moved the meetings online, holding meetings in May and June on Coping with a Pandemic and MBTI & Stress. For the 2020-2021 academic year, we decided to offer a full year of monthly online meetings, which have been a resounding success attracting 35-55 attendees every month. Here is a list of blogposts of all our online meetings to date.

1st CYGNA Global Virtual Meeting: Coping with a Pandemic

2nd CYGNA Global Virtual Meeting: MBTI & Stress

CYGNA: Female leadership in Higher Education

CYGNA: How do I keep my job (in academia) in uncertain times?

CYGNA: The wonderful world of book publishing

CYGNA: REF and Christmas during a pandemic

CYGNA: Working in a Horizon-2020 project

CYGNA: Resistance to gender equality in academia

Ensure your research achieves the impact it deserves

In one way or another, the final thre most popular posts - originally published in 2017 and 2018, but on the "most popular list" for the 3rd year now - all deal with research diffusion. If you are interested in knowing more about this, my 2018 recorded presentation on this topic at Middlesex University, where I have worked for a happy 7 years now, might be useful.

You might also like the 8-part series on using social media in academia that launched in January 2020. After comparing the options, discusses Google Scholar Profiles, LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Twitter, and Blogging, as well as using the various platforms to reinforce each other when sharing information.

Making your case for impact if you have few citations
Provides advice on strategies to demonstrate impact with a very low citation level

Google Scholar Citation Profiles: the good, the bad, and the better
Provides a detailed discussion of how to use Google Scholar Profiles most effectively

How to promote your research achievements without being obnoxious?
Provides some quick and easy to implement tips on how to promote your academic work