One irritating thing about starting anything new, whether it is grad school or a job, is all of the jargon that no one seems to like to explain. So, in this post I explain what publications are, and the publication process.
What Academics Mean When They Talk About Publications
A publication generally refers to a piece of writing that is published in a journal or in a book. Popular press (i.e. magazine, newspaper) and blog pieces generally do not count as “publications.”
All Publications Are Not Created Equally
There are several different types of publications, and they are not all equally respected. And, further, the respect that each gets varies across disciplines. If you are in psychology, journal articles are generally most highly respected. If you are in some subdisciplines of sociology, books are most highly respected.
Journal articles in peer-reviewed journals are held in highest esteem, and the more the journal the article is published in gets cited, the higher the esteem of the journal, in general.
Peer review means that the paper was reviewed by other scholars in the field, most likely professors or advanced graduate students, and the author had to respond to the reviews to get published.
Editor reviewed means that the paper was reviewed by the editor only, and the author only had to respond to editorial comments to get published.
There are also journals where authors can pay to have their papers published, and this are usually regarded as the lowest quality.