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Demystifying the publishing process: A talk by Dr.

Salah Troudi
(University of Exeter)13.3.05 Al Mataqa Bldg.
R. L. Fielding
English Department
Returning to UGRU after four years, Dr. Salah Troudi gave an interesting and
informative talk about getting published in the academic world: in newsletter,
proceedings of conferences, academic journals (refereed and otherwise) and in books and
online databases.
Citing the various reasons why people write - personal satisfaction - professional
development, Dr. Troudi went on to recount how he first started to think about getting his
writing published. He recalled the thrill of having something accepted and the admission
that, "I didn't want to work that day" - so great was his excitement at this initial success.
Personal satisfaction is the great mover, in a positive sense, while the dictates of the
academic world is another, but not necessarily a positive one.
Questions were put to the speaker, and there was a general agreement that there is a great
deal of difference between having to write articles and wanting to write them without
being forced to. The professional spirit has to be accompanied by the creative one, it
seems - hence personal satisfaction and professional development do not always go hand
in hand, though when they do, the results are inevitably superior.
Moving on from the reasons for writing and being published to a detailed explanation of
what to write about, Dr. Troudi gave every would-be-writer encouragement by making
the observation that the world of ELT is bristling with possible topics for discussion.
Staying away from writing exclusively about theoretical issues in English language
teaching, Dr. Troudi instead urged us that potential topics could be found in almost any
area of our daily working lives, in the classroom as well as out of it.
Talking about where to publish, Dr. Troudi stated that very few written articles originate
from the Gulf region, and hoped that we might be able to redress this. Being patient with
publishers was stressed as well as not making fundamental errors such as submitting an
article to one publisher whilst it is being considered by another, this being ethically
reprehensible and actually illegal, depending upon the length to which a publisher has
gone when this occurs.
Of course, the difficulty of getting an article accepted will vary from journal to journal,
and Dr. Troudi advised writers to become acquainted with the language, content, length
and jargon of the many genres of publication offered in the field of English Language
Teaching pedagogy. Targeting a journal is the way to do this; reading back copies and
studying what is likely to be included in the journal's pages as well as what is not.
Making your writing appeal to the widest possible audience while still directing it at a
particular pedagogically related issue seems to pay off, in terms of getting one's words
into print.

However, and unfortunately, getting articles published seldom pays financial dividends,
the main reward coming from being promoted, or finding moving to new institutions
easier, and of course, from the personal sense of achievement that comes from having
others read one's work.
Robert L. Fielding