Overcoming fears: a pathway to publishing for early career researchers

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present reflections of five early career researchers on the challenges of journal publishing and how to tackle them. Design/methodology/approach – The authors attended a participatory workshop on demystifying academic publications. Working individually and in groups the authors shared, discussed, analysed, visualised and ranked perceived challenges and opportunities concerning academic publishing. The authors then delved into the existing literature on the subject. Following their enhanced understanding of the area, the authors reflected on the experience and learnings. Findings – Personal confidence relating to the development of a scholarly identity was found to be a critical factor in the attitude towards journal publishing. Supervisory and peer support, accessibility to journal editors, as well as opportunities to reflect on the writing, publishing and peer review processes through participatory workshops and writing groups, were deemed more effective than formal and conventional guidance schemes. Research limitations/implications – This work adds to the available literature regarding the issue of academic publishing for PhD students and early career researchers. Originality/value – The paper contributes to a deeper understanding of issues surrounding publishing apprehension, by laying out thoughts that are seldom expressed.