on 11 November 2010
The title of this book alone will probably ensure a degree of success and rightly so. How many of us find the prospect of writing for an academic journal a daunting task so intimidating that barely an undetectable degree of arm twisting is required to further relegate the task to an ever lower position on our priority list? Sound familiar? Well look no further, those woes may be on the run thanks to this well thought-out and very readable short book. The 288 pages are divided into nine chapters, the first of which addresses the golden question: "Why?" -Why write? What do authors gain? What does the professional community gain? Is the effort worth the toil? This book has some, maybe not all, the answers, all logically set down in an easy to assimilate format with liberal use of tables and bullet points. This is standard format used throughout the nine chapters, each of which is further divided into yet smaller sections, each addressing a particular pertinent issue. From the initial chapter on why to write, the book moves through an assessment of one's target audience / journal and onto the preparation of a draft manuscript, the revision and the response to various reviewer feedback. All of this is of great value and one could easily imagine having to answer the question of why write for academic journals in an interview at any stage of one's career path. Famous, and perhaps not so famous, quotes are included throughout the book serving to lighten what could possibly become a less than bright mood depending upon one's thoughts on publishing. At the end of each chapter lies a check list and suggestions for further reading, complemented at the end of the book by the presence of a bibliography. I thought that on the whole this was a decent book with a lot of valuable information and thought provoking concepts. It makes the reader think prior to doing rather than just doing which we are all probably guilty of at some stage in life. I'm sure that for anyone starting off in this venture, this book will be an invaluable aid, for those with perhaps more experience, a copy in the unit library will undoubtedly suffice.
Reviewed by: Mr Ian Pearce, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Manchester Royal Infirmary.