Creative Writing Studies Organization

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Journal of Creative Writing Studies  is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal. We publish research that examines the teaching, practice, theory, and history of creative writing. This scholarship makes use of theories and methodologies from a variety of disciplines. We believe knowledge is best constructed in an open conversation among diverse voices and multiple perspectives. Therefore, our editors actively seek to include work from marginalized and underrepresented scholars.  Journal of Creative Writing Studies  is dedicated to the idea that humanities research ought to be accessible and available to all.

See our  Submission Guidelines  for the kind of work we publish. We recommend potential writers review the   Journal of Creative Writing   site and read a recent issue for examples of published work.

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Creative Writing: Journals

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  • Introduction

A journal is a regular publication (monthly, yearly, etc.) in which you will find academic and research articles. The articles present current research and are critiqued by experts before publication, so you can be confident of their quality. The majority of journals held by the Bodleian Libraries in both physical and electronic formats can be searched via SOLO , as can the individual articles within ejournals.

On this page you will find recommended journals and guidance on how to search for and access print and ejournals.

Definitions

Terms you may encounter in your research.

Journal: A regular publication of academic and research articles.

Serial: A broad term that refers to items published in a series but the items are separate and standalone. Examples include indexes, yearbooks and some journals.

Periodical: A regular publication that includes articles, stories and other text. Magazines and newspapers are examples of these.

Conference proceedings: The published record of a conference.

Full-text: This means you can read the item in full from beginning to end, not just the abstract or summary.

Platform: This refers to the site on which you can find and access the journal.

Electronic journals (ejournals)

  • Key ejournals
  • Ejournal Collections
  • Free Resources

Ejournals are digital versions of select types of serial publications. Broadly speaking they come in two forms: they are either 'born digital' or are digital reproductions of physical works.

The tabs at the top of this section list key ejournals, ejournal collections and free online resources relevant to the study of Creative Writing.

Members of Oxford University can use ejournals that the Bodleian Libraries have purchased for free. Search for them on  SOLO . They can be read on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, e-reader or mobile phone; you just need your Oxford Single Sign On to access them. Individually purchased ejournals are all searchable on SOLO, but not all purchased ejournal  collections  are, so it is important to visit the websites of ejournal collections too. Look at the 'ejournal collections' tab above.

Note, some ejournals have restrictive access and usage terms, for example they can only be read by one person at a time.

Some journals are acquired via 'electronic Legal Deposit'. These must be read on a library desktop computer in one of the Bodleian Libraries. Further information on how to identify and access electronic Legal Deposit items on SOLO is at the link below.

  • Electronic Legal Deposit guide

Help with ejournals

The links below are provided for those wishing to learn more about ejournals.

  • Online and Remote Access Information on accessing Bodleian Libraries content remotely.
  • University of Oxford E-resources Blog The e-resources team use this blog to help keep you informed of news and changes in the world of ejournals and databases.

Below you will find key texts for Creative Writing.

Depending on the journal provider, you may need to use your Oxford Single Sign On  to access materials.

  • New Writing New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing is a leading international journal in the field of Creative Writing Studies and publishes both critical and creative work. more... less... Articles can focus on any area of Creative Writing Studies including (but not limited to): pedagogy, practice and research the processes of creative writers, their drafts and completed works the history of particular writing forms analysis of particular creative works diversity, equity and inclusion in creative writing and creative writing teaching studies of creative writing in languages other than English explorations of teaching in different contexts (e.g., high schools, the community) In addition to scholarly articles, New Writing publishes: stories, poems, works of creative non-fiction, novel extracts, writing for the stage or for the screen, and other creative pieces extracts from works in progress and discussions about themes and subjects interviews with creative writers, publishers, editors, designers, booksellers
  • Poets and Writers magazine
  • Modern Fiction Studies MFS publishes theoretically engaged and historically informed articles on modernist and contemporary fiction. The journal's substantial book review section keeps readers informed about current scholarship in the field. MFS alternates general issues with special issues focused on individual novelists or topics that challenge and expand the concept of "modern fiction."
  • Adaptation Academic articles on book to screen adaptation, screen to book adaptation, popular and classic adaptations, theatre and novel screen adaptations, television, animation, soundtracks, production issues, and genres in literature on screen. Includes book and film reviews.
  • Modern Drama Close readings of both canonical and lesser known dramatic texts through a range of methodological perspectives. The journal features refereed articles that enhance our understanding of plays in both formal and historical terms, largely treating literature of the past two centuries from diverse geo-political contexts, as well as an extensive book review section.
  • Life writing Life Writing is one of the leading journals in the field of biography and autobiography, and publishes scholarly articles, critically informed creative personal essays, and book reviews.
  • The Literary Review An international journal of contemporary writing.
  • Novel: a forum on fiction Novel is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the best new criticism and theory in novel studies.

The following is a list of ejournal collections and journal indexing services applicable to those studying Creative Writing at Oxford. Not all ejournal collections are available on SOLO, so it is important to visit ejournal collection websites to expand your search.

The platforms that host ejournal collections allow you to browse and search across all ejournals on their site and encounter titles of interest you may not have otherwise found. Unlike search engines, such as Google, these platforms allow you to effectively refine your search. You can be confident content is credible as it has been collated by the platform editors. It is clear where articles can be read for free through the Bodleian Libraries' subscriptions.

The ejournal collections have been selected by the Bodleian Libraries and you are able to access them for free because of institutional subscriptions. You will need your Oxford Single Sign On to access the ebooks if you are not on the University network.

  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index (ISI) more... less... Alternative name: Web of Science. Arts & Humanities Citation Index is a multidisciplinary index covering the journal literature of the arts and humanities. It fully covers 1,144 of the world's leading arts and humanities journals, and it indexes individually selected, relevant items from over 6,800 major science and social science journals.

JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization with a dual mission to create and maintain a trusted archive of important scholarly journals, and to provide access to these journals as widely as possible. JSTOR offers researchers the ability to retrieve high-resolution, scanned images of journal issues and pages as they were originally designed, printed, and illustrated. The journals archived in JSTOR span many disciplines.

Originally conceived as a project at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, JSTOR began as an effort to ease the increasing problems faced by libraries seeking to provide adequate shelf space for the long runs of backfiles of scholarly journals. JSTOR is not a current issues database. Because of JSTOR's archival mission, there is a gap, typically from 1 to 5 years, between the most recently published journal issue and the back issues available in JSTOR.

Browse journals published by Oxford University Press.

An online archive of digitized, full-image journal articles, Periodicals Archive Online (formerly PCI Full Text) offers unprecedented access to international, scholarly literature in the humanities and social sciences disciplines from 1802 to 2000. Many journals are non-English. Oxford has access to Collections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8, which also includes The Spectator 1828-2000.

Note that Periodicals Archive Online is separate from other ProQuest databases such as British Periodicals.

The following is a list of ejournal collections applicable to those studying Creative Writing at Oxford and freely available on the web.

You do not need your Oxford Single Sign On to access these collections. Note, they are different to the ejournals subscribed to by the Bodleian Libraries for which you need your Single Sign On for access.

  • DOAJ The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
  • Google Scholar Used to search for scholarly literature including articles, theses, abstracts and books from a variety of publishers.
  • JSTOR JSTOR's collection of OA journals offers broad coverage in the field of humanities as well as other subject areas. You can create an account to access further content.
  • Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) ORA provides a single point of public access to electronic copies of peer-reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings by Oxford authors and Oxford research theses.

Physical journals

  • Principal Collections
  • Other Collections

The tabs at the top of this section list Oxford University libraries with print journals of interest to those studying Creative Writing. A lot of journals are available online but some are still in print, especially those published before the introduction of computers and online journals, and they have not all been digitised.

Help with print journals

For those wishing to learn more about searching for journals in Oxford, we recommend the following guide:

  • SOLO: Search Oxford Libraries Online guide A guide for students and researchers at the University of Oxford, or those visiting, who seek support in using the Bodleian Libraries resource discovery tool, SOLO.
  • Rewley House Continuing Education Library The Rewley House Continuing Education Library supports the teaching, learning and research of the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, including the Diploma and Masters courses in Creative Writing.

The following journals are held in print format in the Continuing Education Library:

London Review of Books: current issue and most recent 2 years held in the Reading Room

New York Review of Books: current issue and most recent 2 years held in the Reading Room

Poetry News: 1997 - 2002, Lower Library

Poetry Review: 1997 - current, Lower Library

Times Literary Supplement: current issue and most recent 2 years held in the Reading Room

Writers Chronicle: 2014 - current, Lower Library

  • Bodleian Library The Bodleian Library is the University's largest library, with holdings numbering several million items. It offers access to many journals, to be read within the library itself, the majority of which are stored offsite. Journals stored offsite need to be requested to a reading room via SOLO, or you can request a scan to be sent to your email.
  • English Faculty Library The English Faculty Library (EFL) primarily serves all those reading and teaching English at Oxford, as well as other readers requiring access to its collections.

Recommend a journal

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the journal or article you are looking for, you can make a recommendation by completing the form below ( Oxford Single-Sign On required).

  • Recommend a purchase

Inter-library loans

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the journal you are looking for, we may be able to source it through Oxford's inter-library loan service.

  • Inter-library Loans Service Online Form Use this form to request material not held by the Bodleian Libraries. Please check Oxford collections on SOLO and ensure that the item is not in stock, either in print or electronically.

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Writing Studies

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  • Across the disciplines : interdisciplinary perspectives on language, learning, and academic writing Across the Disciplines, a refereed journal devoted to language, learning, and academic writing, publishes articles relevant to writing and writing pedagogy in all their intellectual, political, social, and technological complexity.
  • Advances in the History of Rhetoric Annual research publication of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric, publishing scholarship on all historical aspects of rhetoric, in all historical periods, and with reference to all intellectual, national, and cultural communities.
  • Assessing Writing Assessing Writing is a refereed international journal providing a forum for ideas, research and practice on the assessment of written language.
  • Basic Writing e-Journal Publishes scholarship on teaching and learning in various basic writing contexts. Frequent topics: curriculum, instructional practice, teacher preparation, program evaluation, and student learning.
  • College Composition and Communication (CCC Online) College Composition and Communication publishes research and scholarship in rhetoric and composition studies that supports college teachers in reflecting on and improving their practices in teaching writing and that reflects the most current scholarship and theory in the field.
  • College English Publishes articles about literature, rhetoric-composition, critical theory, creative writing theory and pedagogy, linguistics, literacy, reading theory, pedagogy, and professional issues related to the teaching of English.
  • Community Literacy Journal Publishes both scholarly work that contributes to the field’s emerging methodologies and research agendas and work by literacy workers, practitioners, and community literacy program staff.
  • Composition Forum : A Journal of the Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition A journal for scholars and teachers interested in the investigation of composition theory and its relation to the teaching of writing at the post-secondary level.
  • Composition Studies: Freshman English News An academic journal dedicated to the range of professional practices associated with rhetoric and composition: teaching college writing; theorizing rhetoric and composing; administering writing related programs; preparing the field's future teacher-scholars.
  • Computers and Composition: An International Journal For Teachers of Writing Devoted to exploring the use of computers in writing classes, writing programs, and writing research.
  • Currents in Electronic Literacy A journal of rhetoric, writing, and composition published by the Digital Writing and Research Lab at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Disability Studies Quarterly: DSQ Journal of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS). It is a multidisciplinary and international journal of interest to social scientists, scholars in the humanities, disability rights advocates, creative writers, and others concerned with the issues of people with disabilities.
  • Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture A refereed journal devoted to contemporary theories of rhetoric, writing, and culture.
  • Harlot: A Revealing Look at the Arts of Persuasion A digital magazine dedicated to prompting conversations about rhetoric in everyday life among diverse publics. (latest issue = 2016)
  • IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication A peer-reviewed journal devoted to applied research on professional communication--including but not limited to technical and business communication. It has been published since 1957 by the Professional Communication Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
  • JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory A forum for scholars interested in theoretical approaches to the interdisciplinary study of rhetoric, culture, and politics.
  • Journal of Business and Technical Communication Covers the latest communication practices, problems and trends in both business and academic settings or sectors.
  • Journal of English for Academic Purposes JEAP publishes articles, book reviews, conference reports, and academic exchanges in the linguistic, sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic description of English as it occurs in the contexts of academic study and scholarly exchange itself.
  • Journal of Literacy and Technology An online peer-reviewed international academic journal exploring the complex relationship between literacy and technology in educational, workplace, public, and individual spheres.
  • Journal of Second Language Writing Devoted to publishing theoretically grounded reports of research and discussions that represent a contribution to current understandings of central issues in second and foreign language writing and writing instruction.
  • Journal of Teaching Writing Publishes articles of interest to teachers at all grade levels, from preschool through university, that address the practices and theories which bear on our knowledge of how people learn and communicate through writing.
  • Journal of Writing Assessment Peer-reviewed journal focused on assessment-related topics such as grading and response, program assessment, historical perspectives on assessment, assessment theory, and educational measurement.
  • Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy A refereed open-access online journal exploring the intersections of rhetoric, technology, and pedagogy.
  • KB Journal: The journal of the Kenneth Burke Society Publishes original scholarship that addresses, applies, extends, repurposes, or challenges the writings of Kenneth Burke, which include but are not limited to the major books and hundreds of articles by Burke, as well as the growing corpus of research material about Burke.
  • Literacy in Composition Studies A refereed open access online journal that sponsors scholarly activity at the nexus of Literacy and Composition Studies.
  • Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture Journal produced by Duke University Press available through Project Muse
  • Peitho Journal A peer-reviewed journal of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition. The journal exists to support the Coalition’s mission as a “learned society composed of women scholars who are committed to research in the history of rhetoric and composition.”
  • Philosophy and Rhetoric Topics include the connections between logic and rhetoric, the philosophical aspects of argumentation, philosophical views on the nature of rhetoric among historical figures and during historical periods, philosophical analyses of the relation to rhetoric of other areas of human culture and thought, and psychological and sociological studies of rhetoric with a strong philosophical emphasis.
  • Praxis: A Writing Center Journal Welcomes articles from writing-center consultants, administrators, and others concerned with issues related to writing-center training, consulting, labor, administration, and initiatives. Published biannually by the University Writing Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society A peer-reviewed, blind-refereed, online journal dedicated to exploring contemporary social, cultural, political and economic issues through a rhetorical lens.
  • Programmatic Perspectives: Journal of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) Publishes articles related to programmatic issues related to technical communication.
  • Research in the Teaching of English Research journal of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in the United States. It is a broad-based, multidisciplinary journal composed of original research articles and short scholarly essays on a wide range of topics significant to those concerned with the teaching and learning of languages and literacies around the world, both in and beyond schools and universities.
  • Rhetorica Published quarterly for the International Society for the History of Rhetoric, Rhetorica includes articles, book reviews, and bibliographies that examine the theory and practice of rhetoric in all periods and languages and their relationship with poetics, philosophy, religion, and law.
  • Rhetoric Review A scholarly interdisciplinary journal of rhetoric, publishing in all areas of rhetoric and writing.
  • Rhetoric Society Quarterly Publishes article-length manuscripts on all areas of rhetorical studies, including theory, history, criticism, and pedagogy.
  • Teaching English in the Two-Year College The journal of the Two-Year College English Association (TYCA), published for instructors of English in two-year colleges as well as for teachers of first- and second-year composition in four-year institutions.
  • Technical Communication Includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field’s most noteworthy writers.
  • Technical Communication Quarterly Publishes research focused on technical communication in academic, scientific, technical, business, governmental, and related organizational or social contexts.
  • Technoculture: An online journal of technology in society An independent annual peer-reviewed journal. Publishing both critical and creative works that explore the ways in which technology impacts this (or any) society, with a broad definition of technology, Technoculture is a member of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.
  • The WAC Journal A national peer-reviewed journal on writing across the curriculum. Published by Clemson University, Parlor Press, and the WAC Clearinghouse.
  • WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship A forum for exchanging ideas and information about writing centers in high schools, colleges, and universities.
  • WPA: Writing Program Administration Publishes empirical and theoretical research on issues in writing program administration.
  • Writing Center Journal The official journal of the International Writing Centers Association, an Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English.
  • The Writing Instructor A networked journal and digital community for writers and teachers of writing.
  • Writing on the Edge Writing on the Edge, an interdisciplinary journal focusing on writing and the teaching of writing, is aimed primarily at college-level composition teachers and others interested in writing and writing instruction. It is published at the University of California at Davis and appears two times a year-in spring and fall.
  • Written Communication A broad, interdisciplinary journal for research on the study of writing in all its symbolic forms.

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  • v.12(1); 2020 Feb

Envisioning the Future of Academic Writing

February 10, 2030. I sit at my kitchen table, with one hand resting on a mug of coffee. I have blocked out 30 minutes to download the medical education scholarship I plan to read and respond to this week .

How will we access education scholarship in 2030? What strategies will medical educators use to document and disseminate their work? In celebration of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education 's ( JGME ) 10th anniversary, the JGME editors are writing a series of special articles that look forward. In this editorial, we imagine the future of academic writing and how this writing will be consumed by readers.

Keeping Up to Date With Education Scholarship in 2030

Using my voice, I open the MedEdCurator app on my tablet, which displays the icons for my favorite web-based medical education journals, blogs, podcasts, videocasts, and virtual communities of practice. I select the “best of” feature, and a window with the highest-rated publications from the past week appears, factoring in my preferences based on my scholarly dossier, prior ratings of all digital media, highest-used search terms, and most viewed media from my closest collaborators. Scrolling through the list, I zero in on a recent publication in JGME on the impact of artificial intelligence on competency-based assessment. With a tap on the screen, I open the interactive visual abstract, which presents the primary aim of the study and the most meaningful results in an infographic. A banner below the abstract provides options to download to my MedEdCurator Cloud the author screencast, the current crowd-sourced bibliography of most relevant publications on time-variable, competency-based assessment, the most highly rated podcasts, and the MedEdCurator Community, an online platform where medical educator scholars discuss literature. I also download the original JGME article, which is available either in the original form or as an annotated version that contains animations to help demonstrate the revisions that have been made based on community discussion and feedback since the first publication date .

Hard Trends in Education

In order to explore how current trends in communication and technology might affect what academic writing, publishing, and dissemination look like in 2030, we searched the literature and posed questions to a variety of medical education groups. From these questions and our literature search, we identified a variety of hard trends that have been and will continue to affect the future of academic writing. Burrus et al define hard trends as up-and-coming, predictable developments about transformations in education. 1

Hard Trends Impacting Academic Writing

Modes of creative expression are evolving in medical education scholarship . While tradition is rooted in text-heavy, peer-reviewed manuscripts, which evolved from dissertations and research formats in the fields of medicine and the social sciences, there is a trend toward shorter articles that include more tables, figures, graphs, and infographics. Written language is increasingly supplemented with audio, visual, and other dynamic content. 2 , 3

Costs and author concerns associated with achieving publication in journals continue to escalate . As authors seek to share their work with their community of peers, prepublication and open access manuscripts are becoming more available. At the same time, the costs of journal access continue to rise, and institutions and authors question the traditional model of academic publication. 4

Reader preferences and habits of acquiring knowledge are evolving as well . Readers who used to stockpile paper journals and read through an entire issue, highlighter in hand, can now view individual article content online. Readers can supplement an article with podcasts, blogs, and subscription services. They also follow scholars virtually or use applications that help them review, curate, and assess the literature. 5 , 6

With the evolution of clinician educators' roles and exponential growth of medical education scholarship, primary literature cannot be screened and reviewed, by an individual, in its entirety . Readers must pick and choose what to read, and curation is essential to staying up-to-date on the medical education research and practice that is most relevant for each individual. 7 – 9

The digital age will continue to transform . Technology will evolve continuously with new ways to access, share, and interact with literature. 10

Crowd-Sourced Vision for the Future

We asked the following 3 questions of the medical education community via Twitter, the JGME Editorial Board, the Society of Directors of Research in Medical Education listserv, an additional closed academic medicine leadership virtual community of practice, and the November 14, 2019 #MedEdChat 11 :

  • What will academic writing look like in 2030? How will trends in communication and the digital age impact the way scholarly work is created and disseminated in written format?
  • What writing resources do you recommend for those who aim to be successful academic writers over the next decade?
  • What writing tips or advice do you have for those who wish to be cutting-edge academic writers?

Our community's predictions for what academic writing may look like in 2030 fell into the following categories:

Decreased emphasis on words, increased emphasis on visual and auditory media . A generation of scholars has learned to summarize their work in one-sentence Facebook updates and 280-character tweets. They have also learned to communicate with their virtual community using images on Instagram. As these scholars produce and consume an increasing share of medical education scholarship, media will become richer. Authors will acquire and apply abilities to express complex ideas in visually creative and succinct ways. The written manuscript will move from center stage to supplementary data. Infographics, virtual abstracts, podcasts, and videocasts will be the main way that readers interact with the primary literature. Writing styles will become more concise, and text will serve as a framework to scaffold the presentation of ideas, results, and conclusions in alternate formats.

Emphasis shifts from the primary literature to curated content . The number of medical education journals and opportunities to publish and disseminate work in digital venues continue to expand. It will become increasingly difficult for educators to sift through the literature to identify the work that is relevant to them and can positively influence their practice. Question responders commented on the current emphasis on scholarship curation, which manifests as “top articles of the year” podcasts and sessions at national meetings, critical appraisals, review articles, and blogs and subscription services that review and rate top articles in a given niche. The science of curation is a niche in itself and the future will see increasing rigor in critical appraisal methods, as well as scholars who build their careers on the scholarship of synthesis.

Publication and dissemination will be 2 distinctly different endeavors. A journal will publish peer-reviewed studies, but as the amount of new knowledge exponentially grows, individuals can no longer afford to be their own filterers across various journals. You'll need smart, trusted, aggregative educators who aren't as biased toward increasing one particular publisher's subscriber count . – Michelle Lin, MD Editor-in-Chief, Academic Life in Emergency Medicine 12

Interactivity: the concept of peer review prior to publication, followed by the dissemination of a static final product will evolve and build on current innovations in post-publication peer review and crowd-sourced rating systems. These processes will highlight how findings or ideas are useful in practice, such that scholarly works will be dynamic digital documents prompting discussion in a virtual space. Interactive visual abstracts will allow readers to access details and supplementary content with a touch of the screen or voice command. Transparency will increase, with a trend toward publication of full datasets and protocols, and community ratings and critiques will prompt ongoing revision of work. As multiphase studies present ongoing results, each subsequent step will be added into the original publication, to minimize salami-slicing and data-splitting. 13 Digital publication will allow the reader to interact with expanded digital media that moves beyond tables and figures to include animations, infographics, and videos that illustrate complex methods and conceptual frameworks. Readers may even use technology to reanalyze available data to check conclusions or calculate additional statistics. Commentary and dialogue will occur within the digital publication in threaded community virtual discussions.

I wonder if investigators will get a personal Yelp-like rating of trustworthiness over time with positive real-world impact factored in. Also I think transparency will increase. Publishing raw deidentified datasets for fact-checking and alternative analyses by others, or even artificial intelligence, or unseen or contradictory trends . – Michelle Lin, MD

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Change in structure of medical education journals . Journals will continue to exist to meet educators' needs for curated content. However, they will likely be emblems of virtual communities of practice as opposed to paper magazines. Medical education journals will be online-only and open access. Because nearly all journal content will be freely available to readers, the need for curating will be even more pronounced. Advancement in artificial intelligence programs will allow first-pass manuscript screening, formatting, and copy editing to be automated. Journals will decrease reliance on volunteer reviewers and editors for many publication decisions and prepublication revisions, in favor of computer algorithms. Peer review will become more valued as well as integrated into the writing process, and the trend toward group peer reviews will strengthen. 14 – 16 Editorial boards will be more diverse, and contribute creativity and conceptual guidance to the vision of the journal. Time from submission to publication will decrease. The medical education community will engage in post-publication review, with reviews assessing quality and applicability as part of the virtual community. Documentation of review activity and quality will be automatically downloaded to each scholar's publically available digital dossier. Metrics of quality will include not only citations, metrics that measure the degree to which research is shared and discussed online, including by the public, but also measures of impact on educational practice, through new application metrics.

The democratization of platforms for disseminating work may also result in refreshed approaches to quality assurance that reach beyond the typical peer review strategies, meaning that writing that is clear, persuasive, and understandable will be more salient than ever . – Chris Watling, MD, PhD, Schulich Centre for Education Research & Innovation 17
As our society grows more enlightened we will have fewer in person academic meetings to share research findings, in order to spare fossil fuels and the environment! So early dissemination via other modalities will become more important . – Nathan Kuppermann, MD, MPH 18

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Writing competence . The quality of academic writing will be even more important as the forms, word counts, and styles for writing change. Authors will need to be skilled in writing cogently in various styles, with intended audiences in mind, whether those audiences be educators, clinicians, administrators, or researchers. Collaborative writing practices will increase and become more efficient. Like all types of competency development, better writing will require courage, deliberate practice, and resources ( Table and Box ).

Top Resources for Future-Oriented Writers

Box Crowd-Sourced Advice for Those Who Aim to be Cutting-Edge Writers in 2030

  • Write a lot. Writing begets writing. Write in different styles.
  • Read a lot. Avid readers make better writers.
  • Block out time to write and make writing a habit.
  • Become a consistent journal reviewer. Consider reviewing as a group.
  • Think about the message you want to convey before you start writing.
  • When you sit down to write, don't self-edit or try to make the first draft perfect. Just get it down on paper.
  • Find or create a writing group. Groups can keep you accountable, inspire you, and allow for consistent feedback.
  • Enlist the help of a mentor or writing coach.
  • Consider formal training to enhance your general skills as a writer. Take a course or workshop in creative writing, narrative medicine, grammar for writers, poetry, or journalism.
  • Learn to navigate the digital space and become familiar with alternative metrics that assess article dissemination and impact.
  • Enlist the help of a research librarian.
  • Train in graphic design and learn effective strategies for visual representation of data and results.
Academic writing must evolve. The products of our writing will be more widely available in the future than ever before accelerating our understanding of challenging research problems if we write in accessible ways. For too long, academic writers have been content to write for insider audiences only, cramming their work with off putting jargon that keeps others out. I hope that writers in the future will embrace simplicity and accessibility in their work . . . academic writers have an obligation to communicate in ways that illuminate their ideas to audiences beyond their usual cadre of insiders . –Chris Watling, MD, PhD

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is i1949-8357-12-1-1-f03.jpg

Final Thoughts

From conceptualization to synthesis of this editorial, we engaged in some of the above future trends, such as interacting with our audience during the writing process and considering visual representation. As we imagine what medical education writing could be in 2030, we realize there are opportunities for our own growth as authors and as a journal. We are inspired to question how we can:

  • Share data and results in a way that is transparent, useful, and promotes interactivity;
  • Improve our own writing and visual representation skills, and support development of these skills in our authors;
  • Incorporate more diverse media and improve platforms for communication among readers and authors;
  • Begin to develop more accurate measures of scholarly impact on educational practice; and
  • Ensure credibility and accuracy—quality—as dissemination venues and revision practices expand.

JGME aims to be the best source for cutting-edge practical literature that will improve graduate medical education (GME). Join us on this journey by submitting relevant GME work, from high-quality research with innovative graphics and media to personal essays and graphic medicine reflections. Offer your suggestions and resources to improve scholarly writing and dissemination by tweeting to @JournalofGME.

Back to the Future

After reading in the MedEdCuratorCommunity about how some of my favorite competency-based assessment scholar gurus have applied the results of this study to their ongoing research and educational practice, I download the podcast, my annotated document, and videocast. My tablet buzzes to alert me that my prescheduled time period for literature curation has ended. I power off with a double blink of my eye (a preprogrammed command), and head out for a run, excited about listening to the podcast as I hit the trails .

The authors would like to thank the following individuals who contributed to our vision of the future of academic writing: Mohammed Alkhalifah, Kathy Andolsek, Sateesh Arja, Louise Arnold, Maik Arnold, Dorene Balmer, Teresa Chan, Margaret Chisholm, Esther Choo, Katherine Chretien, Jorie Colbert-Getz, Ceci Connolly, Tom Cooney, Jim Dahle, Gary Beck Dallaghan, Kristina Dzara, Aimee Gardner, Paul Haidet, Ilene Harris, Daniela Hermelin, Doug Jones, Terry Kind, Nathan Kupperman, Edward Lew, Michelle Lin, Lauren Maggio, Erin N. Marcus, Chris Merritt, Emily Methangkool, S. Muehlschlegel, Joanne Mundua, Erica Nelson, Candace Norton, Daniel Pham, Daniel Ricotta, Janet Riddle, ShwneeLgcy (@ShwneeLgcy), Jung Hoon Son, Lonika Sood, Sparkles the OA Dog (@oa_dog), Javeed Sukhera, Aubrie Swan Sein, Iris Thiele Isip Tan, Christopher R Thomas, Robert Trevino, Tom Varghese, Christopher Watling, and Gregg Wells.

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Acknowledgements

The writing of this Comment was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China STI2030 Major Projects (2021ZD0204200), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (32071045) and the Shenzhen Fundamental Research Program (JCYJ20210324134603010). The author used GPT-4 ( https://chat.openai.com ) and Claude ( https://claude.ai ) alongside prompts from Box 1 to help write earlier versions of the text and to edit it. The text was then developmentally edited by the journal’s Chief Editor with basic-editing and structural-editing assistance from Claude, and checked by the author.

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The Fundamentals of Academic Science Writing

Writing is an essential skill for scientists, and learning how to write effectively starts with good fundamentals and lots of practice..

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Nathan Ni holds a PhD from Queens University. He is a science editor for The Scientist’s Creative Services Team who strives to better understand and communicate the relationships between health and disease.

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A person sitting in a laboratory writing notes with a pen in a notebook.

Writing is a big part of being a scientist, whether in the form of manuscripts, grants, reports, protocols, presentations, or even emails. However, many people look at writing as separate from science—a scientist writes, but scientists are not regarded as writers. 1 This outdated assertion means that writing and communication has been historically marginalized when it comes to training and educating new scientists. In truth, being a professional writer is part of being a scientist . 1 In today’s hypercompetitive academic environment, scientists need to be as proficient with the pen as they are with the pipette in order to showcase their work. 

Using the Active Voice

Stereotypical academic writing is rigid, dry, and mechanical, delivering prose that evokes memories of high school and undergraduate laboratory reports. The hallmark of this stereotype is passive voice overuse. In writing, the passive voice is when the action comes at the end of a clause—for example, “the book was opened”. In scientific writing, it is particularly prevalent when detailing methodologies and results. How many times have we seen something like “citric acid was added to the solution, resulting in a two-fold reduction in pH” rather than “adding citric acid to the solution reduced the pH two-fold”?

Scientists should write in the active voice as much as possible. However, the active voice tends to place much more onus on the writer’s perspective, something that scientists have historically been instructed to stay away from. For example, “we treated the cells with phenylephrine” places much more emphasis on the operator than “the cells were treated with phenylephrine.” Furthermore, pronoun usage in academic writing is traditionally discouraged, but it is much harder, especially for those with non-native English proficiency, to properly use active voice without them. 

Things are changing though, and scientists are recognizing the importance of giving themselves credit. Many major journals, including Nature , Science , PLoS One , and PNAS allow pronouns in their manuscripts, and prominent style guides such as APA even recommend using first-person pronouns, as traditional third-person writing can be ambiguous. 2 It is vital that a manuscript clearly and definitively highlights and states what the authors specifically did that was so important or novel, in contrast to what was already known. A simple “we found…” statement in the abstract and the introduction goes a long way towards giving readers the hook that they need to read further.

Keeping Sentences Simple

Writing in the active voice also makes it easier to organize manuscripts and construct arguments. Active voice uses fewer words than passive voice to explain the same concept. It also introduces argument components sequentially—subject, claim, and then evidence—whereas passive voice introduces claim and evidence before the subject. Compare, for example, “T cell abundance did not differ between wildtype and mutant mice” versus “there was no difference between wildtype and mutant mice in terms of T cell abundance.” T cell abundance, as the measured parameter, is the most important part of the sentence, but it is only introduced at the very end of the latter example.

The sequential nature of active voice therefore makes it easier to not get bogged down in overloading the reader with clauses and adhering to a general principle of “one sentence, one concept (or idea, or argument).” Consider the following sentence: 

Research on CysLT 2 R , expressed in humans in umbilical vein endothelial cells, macrophages, platelets, the cardiac Purkinje system, and coronary endothelial cells , had been hampered by a lack of selective pharmacological agents , the majority of work instead using the nonselective cysLT antagonist/partial agonist Bay-u9773 or genetic models of CysLT 2 R expression modulation) .

The core message of this sentence is that CysLT 2 R research is hampered by a lack of selective pharmacological agents, but that message is muddled by the presence of two other major pieces of information: where CysLT 2 R is expressed and what researchers used to study CysLT 2 R instead of selective pharmacological agents. Because this sentence contains three main pieces of information, it is better to break it up into three separate sentences for clarity.

In humans, CysLT 2 R is expressed in umbilical vein endothelial cells, macrophages, platelets, the cardiac Purkinje system, and coronary endothelial cells . CysLT 2 R research has been hampered by a lack of selective pharmacological agents . Instead, the majority of work investigating the receptor has used either the nonselective cysLT antagonist/partial agonist Bay-u9773 or genetic models of CysLT 2 R expression modulation.

The Right Way to Apply Jargon

There is another key advantage to organizing sentences in this simple manner: it lets scientists manage how jargon is introduced to the reader. Jargon—special words used within a specific field or on a specific topic—is necessary in scientific writing. It is critical for succinctly describing key elements and explaining key concepts. But too much jargon can make a manuscript unreadable, either because the reader does not understand the terminology or because they are bogged down in reading all of the definitions. 

The key to using jargon is to make it as easy as possible for the audience. General guidelines instruct writers to define new terms only when they are first used. However, it is cumbersome for a reader to backtrack considerable distances in a manuscript to look up a definition. If a term is first introduced in the introduction but not mentioned again until the discussion, the writer should re-define the term in a more casual manner. For example: “PI3K can be reversibly inhibited by LY294002 and irreversibly inhibited by wortmannin” in the introduction, accompanied by “when we applied the PI3K inhibitor LY294002” for the discussion. This not only makes things easier for the reader, but it also re-emphasizes what the scientist did and the results they obtained.

Practice Makes Better

Finally, the most important fundamental for science writing is to not treat it like a chore or a nuisance. Just as a scientist optimizes a bench assay through repeated trial and error, combined with literature reviews on what steps others have implemented, a scientist should practice, nurture, and hone their writing skills through repeated drafting, editing, and consultation. Do not be afraid to write. Putting pen to paper can help organize one’s thoughts, expose next steps for exploration, or even highlight additional experiments required to patch knowledge or logic gaps in existing studies. 

Looking for more information on scientific writing? Check out The Scientist’s TS SciComm  section. Looking for some help putting together a manuscript, a figure, a poster, or anything else? The Scientist’s Scientific Services  may have the professional help that you need.

  • Schimel J. Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited And Proposals That Get Funded . Oxford University Press; 2012.
  • First-person pronouns. American Psychological Association. Updated July 2022. Accessed March 2024. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/grammar/first-person-pronouns  

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    C. Connor Syrewicz received an M.F.A. in creative writing from Arizona State University where he served as a prose editor for the Hayden's Ferry Review.He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at SUNY Albany where he is serving as one of the Editors-in-Chief of Barzakh, an online literary journal.His dissertation will be on the cognitive and social dimensions of creative writing expertise.

  8. Journals

    A regular publication of academic and research articles. A broad term that refers to items published in a series but the items are separate and standalone. Examples include indexes, yearbooks and some journals. A regular publication that includes articles, stories and other text. Magazines and newspapers are examples of these.

  9. Establishing Creative Writing Studies as an Academic Discipline

    Published: November 23, 2011. ISBN: 9781847695918. This book advances creative writing studies as a developing field of inquiry, scholarship, and research. It discusses the practice of creative writing studies, the establishment of a body of professional knowledge, and the goals and future direction of the discipline within the academy.

  10. Submission Guidelines

    Journal of Creative Writing Studies (JCWS) is an academic journal. We publish research and scholarship on the subject of creative writing. We do not publish works in any of the four genres of creative writing. We are looking for articles that are well written, well researched, theoretically grounded, and connected to current conversations in ...

  11. Write fiction to discover something new in your research

    Creative writing can help you to approach your science from a completely different perspective — and boost its impact, says Amanda C. Niehaus. ... compressing science into academic journals ...

  12. Researching Creative Writing

    These creative writers participate in academic research. Doctoral students in creative writing are often required to include a "scholarly preface" to their dissertations, and the proliferation of creative writing studies journals, such as New Writing, TEXT, and the Journal of Creative Writing Studies, opens new venues for young and ...

  13. The Psychological Structure of Creative Writing

    Abstract. Creative writing is defined as an open-end prose or poetic construction, that is intended to entertain rather than to impart information. Two aspects of writing are distinguished: the process of writing, and the quality of the product. Composition is conceptualized in information-processing terms, and the components of writing are ...

  14. Journals

    Rhetoric Review. A scholarly interdisciplinary journal of rhetoric, publishing in all areas of rhetoric and writing. Rhetoric Society Quarterly. Publishes article-length manuscripts on all areas of rhetorical studies, including theory, history, criticism, and pedagogy. Teaching English in the Two-Year College.

  15. Changing How Writing Is Taught

    Making writing a part of reading instruction further enhances how well students read ( Graham, Liu, Aitken, et al., 2018 ). In essence, students are unlikely to maximize their growth in other school subjects if writing is notably absent. Writing is equally important to students' future success.

  16. (PDF) Creative writing and academic timelessness

    This paper discusses the problem of time poverty in academia. It proposes that engaging in creative modes, such as expressive, embodied and poetic writing, can generate a sense of timelessness ...

  17. Research Guides: Creative Writing: Literary journals

    The Southern Review is one of the nation's premiere literary journals. Hailed by Time as "superior to any other journal in the English language," we have made literary history since our founding in 1935. We publish a diverse array of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by the country's—and the world's—most respected contemporary writers.

  18. Seeing, Doing, Writing: The Write Here Project

    As political agendas change, the teaching of writing continues to evolve, encompassing different writing practices in an attempt to address the perceived needs for literacy in our society. This article presents the Write Here project, which aims to boost children's social development and literacy attainment through engagement with visual art ...

  19. Envisioning the Future of Academic Writing

    Hard Trends Impacting Academic Writing. Modes of creative expression are evolving in medical education scholarship. While tradition is rooted in text-heavy, peer-reviewed manuscripts, which evolved from dissertations and research formats in the fields of medicine and the social sciences, there is a trend toward shorter articles that include ...

  20. Open Journals University of Toledo

    Cohetes is a biannual, open-access journal of creative writing in Spanish developed at the Department of World Languages and Cultures, in association with University of Toledo Press. Its main goal is to make public a selection of works written by undergraduate and graduate students, mainly in the short story and literary essay genres, as a result of their learning and practice in the target ...

  21. Techniques for supercharging academic writing with generative AI

    The types and levels of writing assistance by LLMs discussed in this Comment do not violate current guidelines stipulated by most associations on scholarly publishing, publishers and journals ...

  22. The Fundamentals of Academic Science Writing

    Things are changing though, and scientists are recognizing the importance of giving themselves credit. Many major journals, including Nature, Science, PLoS One, and PNAS allow pronouns in their manuscripts, and prominent style guides such as APA even recommend using first-person pronouns, as traditional third-person writing can be ambiguous. 2 It is vital that a manuscript clearly and ...

  23. Fall 2024 Courses

    WRTG 10600: Academic Writing IThis introductory writing course teaches academic writing as a craft that includes multiple genres and technologies. Students locate, evaluate, and integrate information into projects that see them forming and supporting their own arguments and positions. Academic writing as a craft is anchored in rhetorical situations of audience, context, purpose, language, and ...