Thursday, August 2, 2018

APPAM is the Natural Place to Encourage New Scholars in our Field | APPAM Leadership Blog Series

I can still remember my first APPAM presentation in 1993 like it was yesterday. It was at 8 am on a Friday and all six of the panel members were from the West Coast, so we were bleary-eyed and tired. On my panel was a former university system provost, two leading scholars on higher ed governance, the President and CEO of the leading national nonprofit, a senior economist from a renowned think tank, and me—a graduate student at the RAND Graduate School. What an amazing opportunity!


#2015APPAM Student Summary: Student Session: Tips for Getting Published

By YoungJoo Park, PhD Candidate
State University of New York, Albany

This is coverage of one of the four student sessions that were featured at #2015APPAM. 

Three panelists, Kenneth Couch, Maureen A. Pirog, and Tyler Scott discussed tips for getting published. Rates of desk rejection at journals ranked in the top three of public administration are more than 50 percent – JPAM was 60 percent last year. Major elements of an excellent paper include: 1) choice of topic, 2) literature review and framing, 3) your contribution, and 4) presentation.

  • Topic: Look at the newspaper to find topics interesting to others.
  • Literature: Cite the papers that have been published in your target journal.Not citing relevant literature is a standard reason for rejection.
  • Contribution: Your own contribution should be stated clearly in the first paragraph of your paper. Lack of contribution is a standard reason for rejection at top journals.
  • Presentation: Organization and writing matter greatly. 

Presenters suggested aligning articles with the journal mission. Top journals have different missions. Reading about the mission of any particular journal prior to submission is a good idea.

Additional Tips:

  • Think big: in global terms
  • Create a good research team: policy research is complex and you are not likely to be an expert in every aspect.
  • Pick a good topic: A topic that is important and has the potential to improve the world.
  • Design, Design, Design: fancy econometrics cannot compensate for a poorly designed study.
  • Data and Measurement: think creatively; try to use existing data in novel way (RCTs & HLM). Conduct sensitivity analyses.
  • Write clearly and compellingly: explain your choices. Don't under/over sell your findings.
  • Know your journals.
  • Be strategic: Research what has been published in that particular journal related to your topic. Cite those papers.
  • Pay careful attention to endogeneity or selection bias.



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