Friday, January 22, 2016

Wander the Stacks

While it might seem a bit old school to some younger scholars, this is an exercise that can be really powerful. It comes from the first edition of my book, Practical Tips for Publishing Scholarly Articles.

Go to the best research library in your area, one with the most academic journals.  Make sure you bring a paper journal with you (again, very old school). Spend a few hours just wandering the stacks. Pick up journals that you might not have seen before, those in your area of interest, and those well beyond it. Spend some time looking at the articles in the table of contents; read some abstracts. See if you can "bend" your area of interest in line with some of the titles of journals. Notice ideas that come up for you.

Take notes in your personal writing journal. This is a good way of generating new ideas, and giving ourselves a sense of connection to the "march of ideas" that is scholarship.

 Yes, old school, but many who have tried this have told me that it is powerful.

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