stack of research notebooks

This article is republished with permission from the GEMM blog.

By: Amanda Holdman, MS student, Geospatial Ecology and Marine Megafauna Lab & Oregon State Research Collective for Applied Acoustics, MMI

“Never use the passive where you can use the active.” I recently received this comment in a draft of my thesis. While this pertained to a particular edit, it has since become my motto for writing in general – to stay active in writing. I knew before beginning this process, from my peers, that it takes time to write a thesis or dissertation, and usually much longer than anticipated, resulting in late caffeinated hours. My roommates have recently moved out, making it a perfect opportunity to convert my home into a great evening office. I needed fewer distractions so I unplugged the TV and set up a desk with ideal conditions for writing. I’m in a race against time with my defense set for only a month away, and getting into good writing habits has helped me smooth out a lot of the writing stress, so I figured I could share those tips.

1. Write sooner

Most of the writing can be actually be done before all the data have arrived.

The writing process can be daunting due to its size and importance. In the beginning I tended to wait until I thought I had researched enough about the topic. But, I have now learned not to wait until all the data is in and the results are clear to start writing. Some researchers might argue that results are needed before one can put the proper spin on the introduction, but spin isn’t quite needed for a first draft. Most of the writing can be actually be done before all the data have arrived. For example, I didn’t need to know the results of my observations before writing the manuscript about them; the rationale for having done the research doesn’t change with the results, so a draft of the introduction can be written without knowing the results. The methodology also doesn’t depend on the results, nor does the analysis that will be performed on the data, so a good framework for the results section can be written before all of the statistical tests are run. And before I know it, I have almost a full draft, just with quite a few gaps.

2. Write Continually

Productivity begets productivity, so don’t stop writing. It keeps my mind working and my project moving. I try to write a little every day or set a goal word limit. (500 words a day is easily obtainable and you feel proud at the end of the day). Writing as frequently as possible for me has helped to reveal gaps in my knowledge or understanding. Vague and disoriented writing tends to reflect a vague and disorganized thought, leading me to dig through the literature for more clarity.

3. Figure out how you write and edit

Some people are better writers when they first put their thoughts on paper and plan to go back and fix awkward sentences, poor word choices, or illogical sentences later. My perfection has always plagued me, so I always edit as a write, with one goal only: to make sure I’ve expressed the idea in my head clearly on the page. I don’t move on until the sentence (or thought) makes sense with no ambiguity in the meaning. Clarity of thought is always the aim in writing a manuscript, yet it is very difficult to come back to a section of writing days or weeks later and sort out a mess of thought if I don’t clarify my writing while the thought is still fresh in your head. This means I am constantly re-reading and revising what I’ve written, but also hopefully means that when I submit something to my advisor or committee it only needs simple revisions, thereby saving time by getting as “close to right” as I could the first time around.

4. Develop a routine

It’s important to learn when and what makes us productive. For me, writing in several short bursts is more efficient than writing in a few, long extended periods. When I try to write for long hours, I notice my concentration diminishing around the hour mark, so I try to take frequent 15 minute breaks. For me, the most productive parts of the day are the beginning the end. It’s important to build momentum early, and have a routine for ending the day too. At the end of each day, I always leave myself something easy to get started with the next day, so I wake up knowing exactly where I am going to start.

5. Find a template

Usually, when we decide on a date and deadlines for the final draft of our thesis due, we’re so frantic and pressed for time trying to get all the content, that we forget about the time it takes to make a draft pretty. My last HUGE time-saving tip is to find a colleague who has recently turned in their thesis or dissertation and still has their final word document. You can save time by reusing their document as a template for margins, page number position and other formatting guidelines. Everything you’ve written can easily be pasted into a formatted template.

6. Keep your motivation near

Finally, always try to keep the end result in mind. Whether it be holding a beautifully bound version of your thesis or a first author publication, keeping motivated is important. Publishing is not a requirement for completing a thesis but it is an ultimate goal for me. I know I owe it to myself, the people who I have worked with along the way, those who have supported me in some way (e.g., my committee), and to the funders that have helped pay for the research. Plus, to have a competitive edge in the next job I apply for, and to get the most leverage possible from my masters training, it is important for me to finish strong with a publication or two. Visualizing the end result helps me to take action to finish my thesis and advance my career.

Now, I think it’s about time to stop writing about writing a thesis and get back to actually writing my thesis.

On a sunny afternoon, undergraduates interested in hearing about graduate education lounge in the shade, eating ice cream on a grassy lawn and meeting other students studying on the beautiful OSU campus in Corvallis for the summer. Our Ice Cream Social events are an opportunity for students to meet with staff of the Graduate School and learn about graduate education, why someone would want to pursue a graduate degree, and how that dream can become a reality.

students1-icecream2016

The students came from a variety of places. Some are members of groups participating in research programs on campus for the summer, some are OSU students taking summer session courses, and some are from other colleges in the area and across the country. This event gave them all an opportunity to think about graduate education, convene together in one of the many pleasant corners on campus, and enjoy some mint chocolate chip on a warm summer day!

Jennifer Dennis talking with students
Vice-provost and Dean of the Graduate School Dr. Jennifer Dennis discussing the benefits of a graduate degree.

 

Dorthe Wildendschild talking to students
Dr. Dorthe Wildenschild, Associate Dean of the Graduate School

Rock climbing

Photo by College Outdoors on Flickr

Guest post by Timothy Michael Ottusch, Graduate Teaching Assistant and Ph.D. student in the Human Development and Family Studies program.

This summer, I’ll once again be teaching applied research methods. For the first time in my teaching career, I’m teaching the same face-to-face class for the second time.

As I work on revising the course, I reviewed my lectures from last time. Looking through my slides, I realized how much I abandoned my teaching philosophy and ignored proven teaching methods. Countless things made me cringe, but one thing that stood out is how I started each class. I failed to build anticipation or get the students mental wheels churning. I forgot to connect the current lecture to and sometimes even jumped right into the subject matter without taking the time to give them the big picture.

Time for some help

Nilson (2010), in her book Teaching at its Best, provides the following suggestions for a lecture:

  • Start the lecture with a comment or slide that gives the overall connection of how the lesson connects to the course objectives
  • Give a connection and review of last class to the current class
  • Find a way to draw the students into the current class’s material (sometimes called a hook or anticipatory set).

Other resources (here and here) suggest similar things–you want your students to get engaged from the start and get their brains thinking about the topic. Connecting my current class content to the bigger picture of the whole term is where I was falling short. I felt so overwhelmed just getting each lecture created I paid more attention to the content in slides rather than getting the students thinking about the overall concepts.

Don’t over do it

For example, last quarter I attempted to cover, all in one class, ethics in research and how to understand how well or poorly a news story did at reviewing a research article. In this rush, I didn’t hook the students into either part of the lecture. Instead, I jumped right into way too many slides with way too little connection to what the students knew already or the overarching goals that content was supposed to connect too.

Cognitive learning theory states that attention is an important first step in moving information into working memory and, ultimately, long-term memory. Educators can support learning by asking students to think about what they know, or think they know, about that topic. By not doing something to grab the student’s attention at the start and get them thinking about what they already know about the topic, I was interfering with their learning.

Time for a hook

Next time I plan on beginning by showing a clip from John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on scientific studies to get students thinking about why it is important to be a smart consumer of research. Hopefully, this will “hook” the students, and we can have a productive conversation about what they know about news articles covering scientific research. After that, I will go into a 10-15 minute review (per Nilson’s suggestion, p. 115) of components to keep in mind when comparing a news article to a research article.

The exercise of reviewing my summer 2015 class has been a great experience. My takeaways from this process are:

  • Take a step back and review what you’ve already done
  • Review best teaching practices
  • Use this reflection to best plan how to reach your curriculum goals
  • Set up the students for success by giving them the big picture
  • Make sure to connect with the students at the beginning of each class.

I’m excited to start this summer with a more thoughtful approach!

bunnies in line

Screenshot from Bunnies, Dragons and the ‘Normal’ World: Central Limit Theorem | The New York Times

The latest in a series of guest blog posts from students in the GCCUT program course GRAD 599. GRAD 599 is a self-directed learning experience, providing structure and context for professional development opportunities in teaching, such as workshops, seminars, webinars, symposia, and other relevant programming.

By Heather Kitada

My name is Heather, and I’m a fourth year Ph.D. student in statistics. In addition to my research obligations, I have been the lab instructor for several undergraduate and graduate level statistics courses. I love mathematical sciences, and they have always fascinated me. I am inspired by the ubiquitous nature of mathematics and am engrossed in the endeavor to understand variability and attempt to model the world around me.

However, in the classroom, I seem to have a problem engaging my students and convincing them that the subject matter applies to their lives. Many of our undergraduate courses are service courses for other departments and the students often just view them as graduation requirements. Therefore, I have observed that students often lack the motivation and interest in the subject of statistics. To overcome this, I utilize the following strategies.

My strategies to engage students

  1. I try to spark student interest while in lab by incorporating real world examples and drawing connections between the topics covered.
  2. I create a community of learners by offering opportunities for discussion that allow students to grapple with challenging topics and stimulate introspection.
  3. I have an interest in informal education utilizing diverse digital resources. Due to the increased accessibility and students comfort with internet resources, this enables them to achieve some independence and ownership for their learning.
  4. I allow students and the discussion to take tangents that will enrich the learning experience.

With these traits in mind, I found a fun and cute example that explains several complex statistical concepts such as sampling variability, sample size, and the central limit theorem. This video is hosted by the New York Times and was created by CreatureCast and is entitled “Bunnies, Dragons and the ‘Normal’ World: Central Limit Theorem”.

I also found this video on TED by author John Green entitled “The nerd’s guide to learning everything online”, which I enjoyed and took some inspiration from.

sunflower in someone's hair

Photo by Tenz1225 on Flickr

The latest in a series of guest blog posts from students in the GCCUT program course GRAD 599. GRAD 599 is a self-directed learning experience, providing structure and context for professional development opportunities in teaching, such as workshops, seminars, webinars, symposia, and other relevant programming.

My name is Ching Chih Tseng, a third-year student of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I am an indigenous woman from the Amis tribe in Taiwan.

My first teaching experience was tough because I taught in English and worked hard to engage with the students. As a guest speaker in the class, I was not familiar with the students.

My lecture topic was talking about the Sunflower Protest that happened in 2014 in Taiwan. Through this event, I wanted to teach students about social justice and the power of people’s voices. They were interested in the topic, but I think they felt a little bit confused and found it hard to follow the content because they are not familiar with the Taiwanese culture and society. It was also a challenge for me to interact with students. I did not know how to react when students did not answer my questions.

On reflection, I think I need to lead students to interact with me and figure out how to break the silence. I should plan more class discussions and activities. A well-prepared lesson plan can meet students’ needs and encourage learning. Through this experience, I learned that I need to prepare my aims and make my objectives explicit and appropriate for the students and syllabus. Overall, teaching the class was a great experience, but I need to practice.

Here are the main things the classes in teaching I have taken at OSU taught me:

  • Teaching is a performance.
  • I need to present an interesting topic to the class.
  • I should facilitate learning instead of lecturing in class.
  • The atmosphere and teachers-students relationships are crucial for student success.
  • I need an effective plan that is well-paced, varied, active, challenging and logically structured.

Recognizing cultural differences

Studies abroad let me realize how cultural differences impact my perception of how people learn and the different ways they gain knowledge. Compared to the western education system, most Asian countries are more like the banking system of education. In that system, teachers are the only resources of knowledge and authority in the classroom. There are few chances for students to learn and practice critical thinking. Students are only accepting the knowledge, but not learning. In contrast, the western education system requires students to create, to criticize and to analyze. Instructors help students understand what they read from the textbook and to challenge the content to have strong conclusions or support for the knowledge.

…as a teacher, our job is to teach the students not the subjects.

The TED talk I’m sharing with you is an example of “Flip Classroom Learning” in Taiwan. (speaking in Chinese Mandarin with transcript in English) I felt glad that the old education system in my country is finally improving by many teachers’ hard work and the passion to make a change for students. The video also encourages me not to be afraid to change. Now I realize, as a teacher, our job is to teach the students not the subjects.

Stop making me laugh you'll make me puma pants

The latest in a series of guest blog posts from students in the GCCUT program course GRAD 599. GRAD 599 is a self-directed learning experience, providing structure and context for professional development opportunities in teaching, such as workshops, seminars, webinars, symposia, and other relevant programming.

By Laurie Harrer

My name is Laurie Harrer, and I am a master’s student in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. I have taught one of the most math-heavy courses offered in my department’s undergraduate curriculum both on-campus and online. Most of my students do not have much experience with they types of mathematical models taught in my class. I need to both motivate my students to learn and make them comfortable enough to ask for help. I have found the fastest, easiest, and most natural way for me to accomplish this is through humor.

I have found many ways to incorporate humor into my teaching. I use wildlife pun memes in the announcements I write to my students via Canvas. I casually poke fun at myself to reassure students that I too had difficulty with some of the material they learn in my class. I also play some of my favorite YouTube videos in the lab: a series by zefrank1 called “True Facts” which give fun facts about various animal species. The more I make my students laugh, the more they relax and enjoy learning.

The more I make my students laugh, the more they relax and enjoy learning.

My anecdotal evidence that humor helps my students is not unusual. In Winter 2006, a paper by R. L. Garner was published in College Teaching titled, “Humor in Pedagogy: How Ha-Ha Can Lead to Aha!”. Garner found that students who learned a lesson that used funny stories, examples and metaphors retained more information than those who learned the same lesson without humor.

It is not necessary to have stand-up worthy material to introduce humor into a class. I have found some of my lamest puns get the most positive reception from my students. The act of trying to connect with students through humor seems to make a large difference. The internet abounds with funny memes and videos about almost any subject – incorporating some of those materials throughout a course could make a large difference in the students’ relationship with both the teacher and the subject.

Taking pictures

Photo by blackyuuki on Flickr

The latest in a series of guest blog posts from students in the GCCUT program course GRAD 599. GRAD 599 is a self-directed learning experience, providing structure and context for professional development opportunities in teaching, such as workshops, seminars, webinars, symposia, and other relevant programming.

By Raisa Canete Blazquez

First, a little about me. I’m a Spanish GTA. I had the opportunity to work with another instructor for one term, and now teach a class on my own. I have already faced some challenging experiences in just the two terms I’ve taught. Here’s a little about one of them: engagement.

We have an assignment that encourages the students to get outside and try to learn more about the local Spanish-speaking community. The students respond to a prompt with an original photo. An example of a prompt is “Where is Spanish spoken in your community?” Students share the photos in class and write a reflection paper where, we hope, they show some growth regarding cultural knowledge and awareness of what’s going on in the local community.

Recently, when I presented the assignment, the students did not seem very excited about it. They kept coming to me saying there was nothing out there – they didn’t want to take the time to go out and explore. I told them to think beyond their first idea, and that a Mexican restaurant was an easy option that I hoped they avoided and to come up with a more original idea. Still, I got a few restaurant pictures, and I could tell some students had taken the picture the day before their presentation.

I wanted them to realize the importance of this lesson and to learn from it. Disappointed, I kept thinking about how I could improve the way I presented it. I want to inspire them and make them more excited about it; take them away from the idea of “another boring assignment”.

This assignment (with a different prompt) is coming up again, and I am terrified. I need some skills to make this it more appealing.

So I watched “Engage your students with real-world projects,” a webinar from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). Even though it was not specifically addressing my case, the webinar promises to “outline strategies to help you plan for more authentic, relevant learning experiences.” The main takeaways for me were:

  • Find a way to introduce the assignment that causes interest and curiosity.
  • Interact with the students and pay close attention to whether or not they are engaging with the assignment or not.
  • And my favorite: Increase the relevance, but keep the rigor.

These ideas address my concerns and will help me have a better experience with my students next time I give them this assignment, and maybe, fewer restaurant photos.

BUSY

Busy by Newtown grafitti on Flickr

The latest in a series of guest blog posts from students in the GCCUT program course GRAD 599. GRAD 599 is a self-directed learning experience, providing structure and context for professional development opportunities in teaching, such as workshops, seminars, webinars, symposia, and other relevant programming.

By Theresa Harper

If you are anything like me, you’ve thought “I don’t have enough time!” at least once this week (or maybe today, or in the last five minutes.) My name is Theresa Harper, and I’ve come to think I should list “priorities juggler” on my resume. I’m a mom of two with a third coming soon, have a full-time job, teach an online class, and am in the Graduate Certificate in College and University Teaching program at OSU. I feel busy. I AM busy! So, I get it when my students come to me feeling frazzled or overwhelmed, or wondering how they can get it all done.

The truth is, sometimes you can’t get “it all” done. Time is limited. 24 hours in a day, that’s all you get. However, I am a big fan of the idea that although there isn’t time for everything (until I get my hands on one of those Harry Potter Time-Turners), there is time for the most important thing each day.

Steven Covey wrote “the 7 habits of highly effective people” back in 1989 and talked about a demonstration that involved filling a jar with big rocks, smaller rocks, sand, and water. Each of these Covey said could represent different priorities of things in life. Some things are urgent, some are important, some are both, and some are neither. (Where does checking Facebook fall for you?) The visual is worth watching, but the takeaway is that if you fill your day first with the unimportant or non-urgent, your jar will get filled up, and not all of the big important rocks will find a spot.

I think this applies to students as well. Some things are important (studying for tests); some are urgent (that discussion board due today); and some are just not (ahem, my Facebook habit.) If faculty and teaching assistants are intentional about communicating the important and urgent about our courses, it can help students prioritize effectively. Give students an accurate course calendar that includes the hard deadlines as well as recommendations for time for reading, projects, and study each week. Remind students that this course is a big (and expensive) rock, and deserves prioritization if learning the material (and getting that good grade) is important to them.

If faculty and teaching assistants are intentional about communicating the important and urgent about our courses, it can help students prioritize effectively.

Most of the time, I teach online to adult learners. I accept that my courses are not always the biggest rocks my students have in their life. That discussion board post might not make it to this week’s “important” list. I can support and remind and maybe even be flexible, but I also have to trust the student to know their values and priorities and schedule accordingly, just like I do.

I like sharing the “7 big rocks” video with students and encourage them to think about what makes it onto their important list. What happens if they don’t pay attention to their list? And what does it mean for their goals if education doesn’t make the cut right now? I also like this Lifehacker article about how to prioritize when everything is important, which starts with the thought provoking question “Is everything really important?” which can help filter the rocks from the sand of a student’s life.

Broken ice on the Branford River

Photo by Slack12 on Flickr

The latest in a series of guest blog posts from students in the GCCUT program course GRAD 599. GRAD 599 is a self-directed learning experience, providing structure and context for professional development opportunities in teaching, such as workshops, seminars, webinars, symposia, and other relevant programming.

By Jafra Thomas

Since last spring, I realized that I get nervous presenting in front of people. And it is even worse if I do not know the audience members well. Recently, while covering a lecture for my major advisor, I realized the fear can show up even when presenting to students. The silence in the room was so awkward; I just stammered through the lecture. Afterward, I felt defeated and was sure the students didn’t learn anything that day. To my surprise, a student came up and said I did a good job; he smiled, and we shook hands. At that moment, I realized two things: I’m not doing as bad of a job as I thought, and I appreciated the student treating me like a person.

Connecting and building rapport with students is challenging. Both students and faculty have many things on their plate that can get in the way. Students have busy lives and attending class can sometimes just be something that they need to get through. Even for me, on that morning of my lecture I was feeling pressured to complete several tasks with looming deadlines, and so going into the lecture I was already jittery and distracted. And then throw a hundred of silent faces looking at you as you wait for a response, but one is not given! Not fun.

Luckily, during my second lecture, things were better, students smiled and even participated. I realized it was due to familiarity; they knew me and were more inclined to participate. Breaking the ice on the very first day can be challenging (even if that first day is midway through the term!) but as my experience showed me it is important.

Dave Ferreira suggests using ice-breakers to build rapport with your students. These can be done in a relatively short amount of time. If I would have used an ice-breaker that took 5 minutes instead of jumping right into the lecture, then I’m sure my experience would have been better. The students wouldn’t have seemed so distant to me if we had spent a few moments to come together and appreciate one another. Who wouldn’t want to take a moment to feel appreciated! Ferreira cites a research study that found both students and faculty had a desire to feel connected to each other but did not know how to express it.

Take the time to build rapport with your students. How much effort and attention students are willing to give a lecture or professor is partially influenced by their relationship. By feeling connected to the professor, students are more likely to develop a sense of ownership over the course, and that the course is actively being shaped to support them by meeting their learning and personal needs.

Beyond feeling a connection to the instructor or professor, Ferreira states that students also want to know what is in the syllabus, how much work to expect, and what the instructor’s policy on attendance is. By providing course expectations, personal stories, and including ice-breakers relevant to learning outcomes, or soon-to-be learning experiences, you can foster student interest and a desire for participation.

Ferreria’s article gave me some excellent tools. Next time I start a lecture, or an entire term, I’m going to make sure I include an icebreaker. I think I owe it to my students, and myself.

Reference

Ferreira, D. (n.d.) “College faculty insider’s guide to the first day of class.” Three Reivers Community College. Retrieved from http://www.trcc.commnet.edu/div_academics/idea/documents/first_day_of_class.pdf

Lion and gazelle mosaic

Image Credit: Scott Sherrill-Mix on Flickr

— Today’s post is by Michaela Willi Hooper, Scholarly Communication Librarian at Oregon State University Valley Library

Do you conduct research? If you’re a graduate student, chances are the answer is “yes.” And if so, you might spend days in the lab or weeks analyzing data. I encourage you to spend a small fraction of that time exploring the options available for disseminating your research. Where you publish can change how often your article is read and cited. It can affect how it’s weighed by future tenure and promotion committees. One thing you definitely want to avoid is publishing in “predatory” journals.

Definitions & the landscape of scholarly communication

To understand predatory journals, you must first be familiar with open access (OA). Open access advocates believe that research findings, particularly those that are government funded, should be freely available to all. The OA movement began to gain traction in the scholarly community in the early 2000s in response to what many perceived to be a crisis in academic publishing, particularly STM journal publishing.

Before the OA movement, the subscription model dominated. Subscribers, either individuals or organizations like libraries, covered most of the costs. Even though this model prevented many people from accessing scholarship, it went largely unchallenged until publishers began raising prices to the extent that even wealthy universities, like Harvard, were unable to afford the content their researchers needed. OA advocates see this as doubly outrageous since academic researchers write and vet the content in journals. In essence, these publishing companies assume copyright for academic works and then sell them back to the institutions and individuals who produced them. I won’t go into further details here, but I’ve provided you with some resources (Ash; Panitch & Michalak; SPARC) if you want to read more about the scholarly communication landscape.

Digital publishing has reduced printing costs, but reviewing and publishing research is still expensive. Without paid subscriptions, many OA journals rely on article processing charges (APCs) paid for by the authors. This is where we finally arrive at predatory journals.

I like Berger & Cirasella’s definition:

“These are OA journals that exist for the sole purpose of profit, not the dissemination of high-quality research findings and furtherance of knowledge. These predators generate profits by charging author fees . . . that far exceed the cost of running their low-quality, fly-by-night operations.”

Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, coined the term “predatory journal” and maintains a list of journal publishers he considers predatory. He has made his criteria public. Some maintain that Beall’s criteria include practices that shouldn’t be labeled predatory and might simply characterize less established publishers who don’t have the resources to put into web development and editing.

I think it’s important to note two other things. First, only a small fraction of OA journals could be considered predatory. There are many reputable, high-impact OA journals. Second, OA alone has not led to predatory publishing. Low-quality research and publishing existed before OA, and the pressures of current systems of tenure and promotion also encouraged the rise of these academic scams. Predatory journals certainly do exist, and their numbers have been on the rise in recent years.

My tips on how to avoid these scams and choose reputable journals

Identify reputable OA publishers with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). DOAJ members are expected to follow a set of best practices.

If it’s an OA journal, see if the publisher is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA). This is a strong indicator of the publisher’s good faith and dedication to quality.

Use Beall’s list to identify unscrupulous publishers. But take it with a grain of salt, particularly if it is contradicting the DOAJ and OASPA lists. For criticism of Beall’s list, see Crawford; Berger & Cirasella; Murray-Rust.

Self-archive. Many subscription journals now permit researchers to post a version of their article on their personal website or the university’s institutional repository (IR). This means you can often reap the benefits of publishing in prestigious subscription journals, avoid APCs, and make your research available to all. You can use SHERPA/RoMEO to identify the self-archiving policies for specific journals. OSU has a robust IR (ScholarsArchive@OSU) where you can easily upload your scholarly work. The IR can also help you fulfill any funder mandates to make your work publicly available.

Evaluate the journal yourself. Questions like those provided by Think. Check. Submit. and Butler’s checklist (at the end of this Nature article) can help you be confident you’re choosing to entrust your hard work to the right venue.

Seek advice. Your advisors can be great resources for identifying reputable journals.

And please remember, I’m also happy to talk to you about these decisions. Let’s make sure that you escape these predators and live another day on the grassy plains of academia.