The art of writing and reviewing papers

Ph.D. course: The art of writing and reviewing papers (5 ECTS)

Organizers: Debra Howcroft, Nina Boulus-­‐Rødje, Pernille Bjørn

Debra Howcroft (, Manchester Business School Nina Boulus-­‐Rødje (, IT University of Copenhagen, Pernille Bjørn (, IT University of Copenhagen

Date of the course:
October 10, 2013 (9:00am-­‐5:00pm)-­‐ October 11, 2013 (8:00am-­‐4:00pm) October 31, 2013 (9:00am-­‐5:00pm)-­‐November 1, 2013 (8:00am-­‐4:00pm).
Room: TBA

Course Description:
The course will focus on the art writing and reviewing papers within the academic traditions of social sciences, in particular, the field of Information Systems (IS) and Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). The student will be exposed to different writing genres within these academic traditions (e.g., literature review, grounded theory approach, theoretical approach) as well as to the practice of reviewing papers. The course is appropriate for PhD students who are working on a draft of a paper that they wish to submit to a journal/conference proceeding within the fields of IS and CSCW. During the course, students will receive feedback on their papers from both their peers as well as the professors. Furthermore, students will learn how to write a constructive review as well as how to respond to one, and they are expected to review peers’ papers. Finally, students will also be exposed to papers that have been published and get insights into the reviewing process behind the scenes. Students will be guided through this analytical process of dealing with reviews. To summarize the amount of workload dedicated to the course, student will be expected to not only work on a paper which they wish to submit, but also to read literature about the art of writing, to review peers’ papers, as well as work with several exercises and concrete examples of papers and reviews provided during the course (e.g., identifying the elements that makes a good paper, analyzing reviews and author’s responses, etc.).

Learning objectives:
In this course the student will
• Learn about the trade of paper-­‐writing (e.g., different writing genre,
styles/types of articles-­‐ e.g. literature reviews, comparative cases,)
• Work with concrete examples illustrative of the iterative nature of paper
writing and submission process (you will be given access to papers that
has been submitted and see their reviews)
• Learn how to address reviews (e.g., how to respond to reviews? how to
cluster all the comments from the different reviewers? what to do if the
reviewers disagree? How to argue your position?)
• Learn how to write reviews

Timetable of Activities:
Pre-­‐seminar A
Before attending the workshop, each student will be required to complete the following:
Read through the course literature (indicated below).

4 Oct. 17:00: Upload a paper that you intend to submit to a
journal/conference. Please specify the target journal/conference. The
paper must not exceed 8000 words.

Oct 7: you will be assigned a fellow PhD student’s paper to review. The
review needs to be a minimum of half a page and should include (a) two (or more) of the key strengths of the paper, (b) three (or more) main areas for improvement.

9 Oct 9:00: Submit the review through dropbox
Select a personal favourite paper and prepare to briefly explain (5-­‐10
min) why you like the paper.
Be prepared to discuss the strengths of a paper that has been selected by
the course organizers and distributed beforehand.

Seminar A
Thursday 10 October

9.00 – 10.30
Introduction and Welcome My favourite paper

10.30 – 10.45
Tea/Coffee break

10.45 – 12.15
Targeting research for publication: where to publish?

12.15 – 1.15

1.15 – 2.45
Writing an introduction What makes a good abstract?

2.45 – 3.00
Tea/Coffee break

3.00 – 5.00
Writing a literature review

Friday 11 October
8.00 – 9.30
Discussion of the distributed paper: Strengths and weaknesses

9.30 – 9.45
Tea/Coffee break

9.45 – 11.15
Presenting your data analysis

11.15 – 12.15

12.15 – 1.45
Writing and publishing strategies

1.45 – 2.00
Tea/Coffee break

2.00 – 4.00
Action plan of areas for development on individual papers

Pre-­‐seminar B:
Before returning to complete the workshop, each student will be required to complete the following:
Revise individual paper.

Oct 24, 9: 00: Submit the revised paper (8,000 word limit still applies).

Oct 25: You will be assigned two papers of fellow PhD students to review.
The reviews need to be a minimum of half a page and should include (a)
two (or more) of the key strengths of the paper, (b) three (or more) main
areas for improvement.

29 Oct 9:00: Submit the reviews through dropbox

Seminar A
Thursday 31 October

9.00 – 10.30
Discussion of the distributed paper: Strengths and weaknesses

10.30 – 10.45
Tea/Coffee break

10.45 – 12.15
Concluding a paper

12.15 – 13.15

13.15 – 15.00
Papers 1 and 2: Reviews and feedback

15.00 – 15.15
Tea/Coffee break

15.15 – 17.00
Papers 3 and 4: Reviews and feedback

Friday 1 November
8.00 – 9.30
Writing a review

9.30 – 9.45
Tea/Coffee break

9.45 – 11.15
Papers 5 and 6: Reviews and feedback

11.15 – 12.15

12.15 – 13.45
Ways to respond to reviewers’ comments

13.45 – 14.00
Tea/Coffee break

14.00 – 16.00
Concluding discussion and reflections Plans for future work

Sørensen, C. (2002): This is Not an Article — Just Some Food for Thoughts on How to Write One. Working Paper. Department of Information Systems, The London School of Economics and Political Science. No. 121.

Lee, A. (1995). Reviewing a Manuscript for Publication. Journal of Operations Management. Vol 13, Number 1. Pp. 87-­‐92. (

Wolcott, H. (2001) Writing Up Qualitative Research, Sage

Silva P (2007) How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive
Academic Writing, American Psychological Association

Barley, S. R. (2006). When I write my masterpiece: Thoughts on
what makes a paper interesting. Academy of Management Journal, 49:

Evans, A. James; Kunda Gideon and Barley R. Stephen (2004). Beach Time,
Bridge Time, and Billable Hours: The Temporal Structure of Technical
Contracting,” Administrative Science Quarterly 49: 1-­‐38. To be continued!

Application procedure:
Each applicant is asked to submit a one‐page statement that introduces very briefly the PhD project and describes the paper that is to be submitted to a journal/conference proceeding (including the publication venue). Finally, explain why this course would be important to you.

Email your submission to Christian:, on Sep. 6, 2013 at 9:00. You will be informed on the Sep. 10th whether you were accepted to the course.

Students are evaluated based on their participation in the course. Participation requires attendance, reading paper, reading and reviewing each other’s papers and finally, working with your own paper.

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