n South African Journal of Higher Education - Writing for publication : an intervention to overcome barriers to scholarly writing

Volume 25, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Academics are actively encouraged to disseminate new knowledge to the scientific community by publishing in scholarly journals. External and internal barriers to writing, however, prevent many authors from writing for publication. This article gives an account of an intervention to provide hands-on coaching to inexperienced academic authors. Seventy four five-day workshops have been presented to over 1 000 participants from different disciplines in Southern Africa since 2005. External barriers to being published were identified through a survey of academic journal editors' experiences of common errors made by authors. Internal barriers were identified through literature as well as from reflection on practice during the course of the interventions. Two follow-up web-based surveys, after two and four years respectively, investigated the experiences of workshop participants. Survey findings reveal authors' experiences of writing and identify perceived benefits of skills learned during the workshop. A framework is proposed which could guide planning and implementation of similar interventions. The research suggests that facilitating development of skills through a workshop of this nature helps to overcome barriers to writing for publication, thus improving scholarship in higher education.

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