Many educators view publication as an important step on their career path. However, there are many points on the path from aspiration to publication – so how might you go about reaching this important career milestone successfully?

In this webinar, Raquel Alexander, Associate Professor of Accounting at Washington and Lee University, shares her successes and failures along the way to having her research published in scholarly journals. Though her presentation addresses some topics and resources particular to Accounting and Taxation instructors, her suggestions on how to make the most of one’s relationships with editorial staff will benefit anyone hoping to submit his or her work to their discipline’s research publications. Likewise, her insights on gathering ideas could spark some ideas of your own.

In some respects, publishing for a journal bears similarities to publishing educational materials. However, authors who craft textbooks and other learning solutions also need to bear in mind the various needs of the instructors and learners who will ultimately use their materials. Additionally, they need to factor in the requirements of various learning environments. We asked Margaret Leslie, Acquisitions Editor at Cengage Learning: What are some of the skills today’s author needs – both in terms of “soft skills,” as well as research and content expertise? 

In some ways, we look fundamentally for the same core author skills we’ve historically sought: a strong, well-tested, and innovative pedagogy that fills an existing market need or, better yet, anticipates an emerging curricular need within the market. Innovative ideas, content expertise, classroom experience, and openness to collaboration remain as crucial as ever. But increasingly, I look for authors to have great gifts as translators into multiple environments; I want them to be able to think about and to articulate how their content and pedagogy will translate into a digital environment, into an online class, or into a hybrid class. For instance, how will students interact with this content differently in an online setting? How will a faculty member structure his or her class and syllabus differently if it’s a hybrid course? Anticipating the variety of ways pedagogy and content might be used is a shared process between Cengage Learning and author, and this close partnership throughout content development grows a good idea into a great one!

Do you have any suggestions to share with people hoping to publish their research? To your mind, what are the hallmarks of an excellent author of course materials for today’s students? Please submit your ideas in the comments.