Beginning to Publish in Grad School: The Book Review and the Commentary

I apologize to everyone for the long hiatus.. grad school has been keeping me busy! I was surprised to see that readers are still regularly visiting this blog 🙂

Today I wanted to talk about a tip that was shared to me to begin publishing when I was just beginning graduate school and had no publications to my name – the book review and the commentary. 

One (somewhat easy) way to start publishing ASAP in graduate school is to write a book review and/or a commentary. Although these publications are not as valuable as original research pieces (for several reasons, one of which is that they are not peer reviewed!), they are a good first step to learning how to publish in a non-academic journals.

Why bother?
There are two main reasons for doing this:
1. To become familiar with the publishing process and practice writing a publication
2. To enhance your CV (again, this does not count as much as a peer-reviewed publication – but it is something! E.g. it is better to graduate with 6 peer-reviewed publications and 1-2 non-peer reviewed ones than just 6 peer-reviewed publications.

How many should you write?
Not too many! A good rule of thumb is to have no more than a 1:3-1:6 (depending on who to ask) of non-peer reviewed articles to peer reviewed articles. So if you hope to write 6 peer reviewed papers in graduate school, it would be fine to write up to one book review and one commentary.

On my next post, I will talk about the “how to” of writing a book review and a commentary. Stay tuned!


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