Harzing.com blog 6 years old!

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

6-year anniversary

This month I am celebrating my blog's 6th anniversary. The 6th year saw 57 postings, i.e. more than one a week, helped by frequent guest bloggers Christa Sathish and Tatiana Andreeva and my 15-part Publish or Perish version 8 new features series.

My blog now has 330 postings. So for easier access I created a Working in academia collator page and three separate pages for my multiple-post series: Avoid a desk-reject for your article, Effective promotion applications, and Social media to support your career.

Publish or Perish turns 15 years old

So what were the most popular posts in my 6th year of blogging? With head and shoulders above the rest, was a post introducing Publish or Perish version 8. If you haven't updated your PoP version 4, 5, 6 or 7 yet, please do so as soon as possible. As this version included so many new features, I also created a 15-part series discussing them one by one.

Other blogposts related to Publish or Perish also featured heavily in the most popular list, including a post documenting its changing usage over the years.

The changing usage of Publish or Perish over the years: where, why, when, what & who?
Celebrating 15 years of Publish or Perish with an analysis of its usage over the years

Two 2016 and 2017 postings about journal submission and literature reviews retained their popularity, joined by a 2019 posting providing a quick overview of PoP's most frequent use cases.

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

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?

Guest posts about literature reviews

Almost as popular were Tatiana Andreeva's postings about literature reviews, clocking up more than 20,000 views combined.

Resources on doing a literature review
Reviews a list of resources that provide advice on doing a literature review

Want to publish a literature review? Think of it as an empirical paper
What to consider if you want to publish a literature review paper

Do you really want to publish your literature review? Advice for PhD students
Why publishing your literature review as your first paper may not be a good idea

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. This year they were joined by a new post on Changing academic culture.

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.

Changing academic culture: one email at a time...
Shows how we can all contribute to making academia a nicer and kinder place to be


Blogposts with videos: a perfect match?

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

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

Hello from the other side: Reflections on a decade at the editor’s desk
Reports on David Collings' look behind the scenes of an editor's job in the Middlesex MLO seminar series

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, conducting monthly or bi-monthly online meetings. They have been a resounding success with 30-55 attendees, typically attracting as many international members as UK members. Here is a list of blogposts of all our online meetings to date.

Ensure your research achieves the impact it deserves

In one way or another, the final three most popular posts - originally published in 2017 and 2018, but on the "most popular list" for the 4th 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 8 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.

Most recently I have launched a new 8-part series on how to improve your research profile, reputation and impact.

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