With millions of academic papers being published each year—close to an estimated three million in 2020 alone—scholars often struggle to make their work stand out. While no one has been able to nail down how often the average journal article is actually read and cited, many academics have a sense that their research is not having the reach or impact it could. The publish-or-perish culture in academe and the use of citation metrics like the H-index only amp up the pressure to publish papers that attract attention.
Better writing skills can go a long way in making your work stand out. While the research in a paper certainly matters, how it is presented also plays an essential role. There’s a pervasive belief in higher ed that it’s OK for academic writing to be jargon-filled and complex—that what makes for good academic writing is different from what makes for good writing in general. However, a study that my colleagues and I recently conducted reveals that writing style can substantially influence a paper’s success (at least in the social sciences).
Read the full article at Inside Higher Ed.
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