Presentation Recap: Pragmatic Productivity & Creating an Agenda

Pragmatic Productivity & Creating an Agenda – Dr. Nancy Leech

Comic strip: Woman at funeral saying "he should have published"

Italicized notes by Courtney Donovan



Creating an Agenda


  • Most people think a research agenda is what you start with
  •  It is a way to think about your publications and argue they have “connected-ness”

How to Create an Agenda

1) Publish in early years (to show you can do it)

2) Know what is required/what “counts”

Going after grants and presentations may not be the best use of your time

3) Look at publications and decide on your agenda

Look at how they are connected (find themes) & that will establish your agenda




Know what “counts”

Everything is publishable

Nancy truly lives by this.  She’s considers everything she’s working on as a potential publication and pursues it

Rejections are necessary and part of publication

Many of us were a bit surprised to hear how often Nancy is also rejected.  She says consider it a game and keep revising and finding a new place to submit.  If you work so hard on paper don’t give up on it!


How to Publish (Doctoral programs typically do not teach you how to publish) –

  • Top of stove – four places for cooking

One burner: ideas & IRB, another data collection/analysis, another writing, and the 4th revise/resubmit

  • APA format

Some journals will reject outright simply due to format

3) Make time for writing

– time of day or week

– think of 40%/40%/20% – 2 days a week for writing

80%/10%/10% – 1/2 day a week for writing

Figure out what works for you!

4) Keep writing in front of you

  • bulletin board
  • Bulletin Board

5) Know your strengths and weaknesses

Find collaborators with the opposite

6) Find a mentor(s) – doesn’t have to be in your field but should be someone who has


Find lots of mentors!

7) Have peers to publish with or to get feedback from




Helpful Sources

*Treat publishing as something to learn and improve at, not something you’re assumed to know and must figure out alone!

Belcher, W. L. Writing your journal article in 12 weeks: A guide to academic publishing success.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Daniel, L. G., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2007). Editorial: Effective use of APA style in manuscript preparation,

Research in the Schools, 14(1), i-x.

Gray, T. (2005). Publish & flourish: Become a prolific scholar. Albuquerque, NM: Teaching Academy.

Olson, G. A., & Worsham, L. (Ed.). (2003). Critical intellectuals on writing. Albany, NY: State University of

New York Press.

Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Combs, J. P., Slate, J. R., & Frels, R. K. (2010). Editorial: Evidence-based guidelines for

avoiding the most common APA errors in journal article submissions. Research in the Schools, 16(2), ix-xxxvi.

Rankin, E. (2001). The work of writing: Insights and strategies for academics and professionals. San

Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.