In a 2021 in-service-training, Scholarship in Extension 2.0 Virtual Workshop, the Central District Regional Specialized Agents (RSAs) and Associate District Extension Director (DED) reviewed program development implementation and evaluation, as well as the need for a “diversified scholarship portfolio” (Adams, et al, 2005). In this series, Scholarly Nuggets, the team will be providing bi-monthly tips and resources to support scholarly work.
Last Scholarly Nuggets, the Water Regional Specialized Agent, Yilin Zhuang, gave an overview on how to report team efforts. For this article I chose to interview the other Central District RSAs which included Chris Christensen, Wendy Lynch, Geralyn Sachs, and Yilin Zhuang as well as Norma Samuel, the Associate DED. I asked each of them to share their story about what helps them publish. It was surprising to see how many similar responses emerged in each interview.
Tips That Can Help You Publish
- If you want to publish you must schedule the time to write. Reserve blocks of time that support your ability to write.
- Start with “the low hanging fruit” for some agents that is the weekly newspaper article. For others it may be county fact sheets, or a worksheet used in a program or their program newsletter.
- Think about starting by submitting a poster abstract for the Central District Symposium, then a poster/presentation abstract for EPAF, followed by a national association conference.
- Know your target audience. Your writing style and information should match your target audience. The recommended reading level is a 6th-8th grade reading level. Software does exist that can review your article and let you know where changes are needed to meet these criteria. Don’t get too technical.
- Readers are looking for content and information that has value to their life.
- Volunteer to read abstracts and awards applications. This will help you strengthen your writing abilities.
- When you plan a program much like the evaluation of the program writing should be part of the planning. Think about what type of article can be written and where can that article be published. Use the program logic model to guide your writing.
- Once you submit an abstract or are preparing a presentation think about expanding the article/presentation to be published in conference proceedings or other journals.
- Are their timely topics that you can expand upon or find a different angle to present that result in a publication?
- Find a team to write with, determine what expertise you can contribute to the team. Remember when you write with a team that all authors should be notified when you are writing an article and given enough time to review the article before it is submitted. A team usually has greater success publishing for EDIS.
- Remember that some data is better than no data. Take what you got and develop it into a publication. Learn by doing helps you improve.
- When publishing in a journal always check for publication fees. Always check the authors notes for formatting requirements and citation style before you start and again before you submit.
- Always use high quality images
- Proofread, proofread, and proofread.
- Always allow your co-authors enough time to edit the document before it must be submitted.
Remember this quote from Bishop John A. Marshall, “If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing.”
More Resources: Enhancing Your Scholarly Works Series
- Enhancing Your Scholarly Works Series – Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS)
- Enhancing Your Scholarly Works Series – How to Report Team Efforts?
- Enhancing Your Scholarly Works Series – Awards and Recognition for Extension Professionals
The author of this blog article is Dr. Liz Felter. Dr. Felter is a Regional Specialized Agent (RSA) for UF/IFAS Extension, working and collaborating at the interface of Central Florida food systems and ornamental horticulture while serving Flagler, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, and Volusia counties.
Liz Felter, Ph.D.
Regional Specialized Extension Agent IV
Food Systems & Production Horticulture
UF/IFAS Extension Central District
Mid-Florida Research and Education Center