Module outcomes:

  • Identify the variety of spaces in which SoTL work can be made public
  • Reflect on motivations for publishing
  • Investigate the strategies used to select a journal to submit a manuscript

Activity: complete a KWL chart of your current knowledge and needs relating to presenting and publishing your SoTL work. A KWL chart refers to:

K: What do you already Know
W: What do you Want to know
L: What have you Learnt

Come back to the L once you have completed this section of the module.

know want learnt

For many new to the academy or those new to SoTL, writing a teaching and learning publication can pose a challenge. New scholars need to make well informed decisions regarding what is motivating their writing, with whom they wish to share their writing, and how they will use their voice.

Your motivations for writing, (and being published) will impact on your decisions regarding whatwhere and how often you publish. Consider the following motivations for publishing (Shokraneh et al., 2010):

  • Documenting knowledge;
  • Sharing knowledge;
  • Problem solving;
  • Ownership of findings;
  • Personal promotion;
  • Intrinsic satisfaction;
  • Acquiring grants and awards;
  • Surviving in the academy.

Activity: As a reflection exercise, identify the factors that Shokraneh has proposed which resonate with you. You might like to add to the list of motivation factors and share these with a colleague.

Watch the video: Barbara Grant – Where to Publish for New Scholars in SoTL


Barbara speaks about some possible journals in which you might publish your initial SoTL work. There are an array of Higher Education journals to which you could submit your SoTL manuscript. Below are names (and links) to some journals that you might consider:

Watch the video: Barbara Grant – Alternatives to Scholarly Writing
Consider Barbara's suggestions about alternatives to scholarly writing


 Prepare a list of potential alternatives to scholarly writing, as suggested by Barbara.
  • What do you see as the benefits to using these alternative spaces and writing forums for new scholars?
  • How might these alternative spaces act as rehearsal spaces for finding your SoTL voice?


 this article published by The Conversation: “Teaching Only Roles Could Mark the End of Your Career”

As a new scholar, consider how engaging in SoTL could assist in securing your employment in higher education, and contribute toward your university’s pursuit of quality teaching and learning. Also, consider the space that The Conversation provides for sharing your academic voice. Could this be a place for you to publish your work? The Conversation calls for a different type of publication – one which is highly engaging, addresses a social, cultural, health, economic or educational concern, and speaks to a broad audience.


After viewing both of Barbara’s Youtube clips and logging on to The Conversation, prepare a list of possible outlets for your SoTL writing. Here it is important to be mindful of the intentions of, and your motivations for your writing.


 Prepare a Blog post to share with colleagues who are new to SoTL. The aim of the Blog post is to consolidate your learning and assist others to reflect on where and how to make "writing public".


Associate Professor Barbara Grant’s article in the HERDSA News (April, 2015). in her article, Barbara draws an analogy between entering a conversation and publishing your work in a journal, and offers a series of tips for selecting journals and publishing.

A good way to think about submitting an article to an academic journal is that you are joining a conversation. 

In everyday social life, we follow learned but unspoken protocols when we join an existing conversation. These protocols differ from culture to culture and between private and public spaces. For example, often we are quiet for a time as we figure out what’s going on in the conversation. Then, as we discern the gist of it, we begin to participate, probably by responding to something being said – agreeing (quite a good way to start, at least in Pākehā conversation culture), extending, questioning, disagreeing and so on. In this way of conversing, we don’t usually barge in and claim the space for our own interests without some kind of 'entry' behaviour.

Sending an article to a journal is like this. So it’s a good idea to signal that you are entering a conversation that is already ongoing. As the editor who screens most manuscripts submitted to HERD, I notice when authors send in articles on topics that have been discussed over the years in HERD. I don’t like it when there is no acknowledgement that the author has read or thought about those past contributions. I want authors to actively engage with those earlier articles in ways analogous to those above: by agreeing, extending, questioning, disagreeing and so on.

When I talk to doctoral students about getting published in academic journals, I advise them to take the following steps:

Before you have written the manuscript, make a list of three journals that you want to be published in. To figure this out, check each journal’s aims and scope and review some issues to see if there are relevant articles. Then rank your three journals.

Write the manuscript for the first journal on your list. Don’t only look at the journal’s specifications but carefully review at least three years’ worth of recent issues to find articles germane to your work. When you track some down, engage with their ideas to show how your work builds on, extends, challenges or confirms that previous work. In this way, you join the journal’s conversation. If you can’t find any relevant articles, ask yourself if it’s the right journal for your work. The answer may be yes and then you are initiating a new conversation.

Another tip. If the first journal rejects your submission, you submit to the next on your list. Before you do, though, take the time to find articles in that journal to connect with and cite.


 Having read Barbara’s article in HERDSA News, respond to the following questions:

  • What are the key tips and hints that Barbara suggests regarding joining the SoTL conversation?
  • How might these tips and hints assist you in selecting a journal, or positioning your SoTL voice elsewhere?

You might like to discuss these responses with a colleague who is also new to SoTL or seek further advice from an experienced SoTL researcher.

Watch the video: Barbara Grant – Choosing a Journal
Barbara identifies a range of techniques to apply when selecting a journal to which you might send your SoTL manuscript.


Using the information from Barbara’s video, prepare a checklist of the key techniques.

If you have already drafted a SoTL manuscript, consider which technique you might use to select the journal to which you might submit this manuscript.

In the previous activity, Barbara Grant offered techniques to employ when selecting a journal. If, as Barbara suggested, you investigate the journal requirements first BEFORE drafting your manuscript, here is a practical way to explore the types of manuscripts in which the journal is interested.


Go to the Taylor and Francis online Homepage for HERD.
On the left hand side of the screen there are a series of tabs, as illustrated below:

HERD navigation

Click on “Aims and Scope” of the journal and use the information that appears on the site to complete the table.

This activity will assist you to “decode” what types of articles the journal is publishing, and what the journal requirements mean for writing a manuscript that you intend to submit to HERD.

Implications for my manuscript table

Now share your responses with an experienced SoTL publisher.

Watch the video: Dr Tai Peseta – Three Rules When Writing For Publication
In module 4 you viewed Tai's advice regarding writing for publication. Now review the video and complete the following activity. Tai Peseta, Points for Debate Editor HERD, provides three rules for when writing for publication.

Tai highlights three important issues to consider as you prepare a manuscript to submit for publication:

  1. Be familiar with the publication;
  2. Persuade rather than describe; and.
  3. Think about your reader.


given these "rules":

  • prepare a list of strategies that you could use to become familiar with a journal;
  • prepare a table with “for” and/or “against” points to assist in constructing an argument that arises from your research; and draft an engaging introduction for a manuscript based on your data and review of literature.


Finally, prepare a Blog post that reflects on your understandings of presenting and publishing your SoTL work. You may like to return to your KWL chart from the initial module activity or freely compose a posting that illustrates what you have learnt about publishing in SoTL.

You have completed all the modules

Page last updated on 12/02/2020

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