Blog & Resources

Explore interviews, opinion pieces, and other evidence-based resources to help you understand—and surmount—what you're up against in the process of academic peer review, and academia more broadly.

Why Use Transcribers and Not Speech Recognition Software? | Lex Academic Blog

Researchers armed with accurate transcripts, produced with attention and sensitivity by professional transcription services, are best equipped to establish patterns, draw meaningful conclusions, and contribute substantively to collective knowledge. For this reason, the work of human transcribers remains, and will continue to be, deeply valuable in the age of AI.

‘Tis the Season to be… | Lex Academic Blog

For some academics – especially first-generation academics, or those not from academic families – returning home can mean encountering a family that has no idea what you do, or what the point of your research is. Why did you dedicate your life to studying the bubbles in washing up liquid?

Applying for PhD Funding | Lex Academic Blog

Agnes de Mille choreographed what she recognised as the ‘flamboyant success’ of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!. But she couldn’t understand why it was so well received. Her choreography was okay, she felt, but certainly not up to the standard of her earlier works, Rodeo and Three Virgins and a Devil. Yet these two pieces had […]

AI Killed My Journal Submission

In April of 2023, I submitted a paper to a fairly well-known philosophy journal from a major publishing house. This was the second journal I’d submitted this paper to—it had been rejected from a different one years ago, with some helpful and generous comments, and I’d procrastinated sending it out again. I had a co-author […]

Preparing For a New Academic Year as a Graduate Student | Lex Academic Blog

As a community of veteran academics, we have some thoughts that we’d like to share with you about making the most of the new academic year.

The UK Joins Horizon Europe

In a recent and highly anticipated move, the United Kingdom has officially re-joined the European Union's Horizon Europe programme as a full associate member.

Transforming a PhD Chapter into a Journal Article | Lex Academic Blog

As a newly minted PhD, or student approaching the closing stages of your degree, you will already know what a peer-reviewed article is and why it is important to a scholarly career. A PhD chapter can come to life as an article, but it needs to be prepared a little differently; excised from the body of the thesis and made to live independently.

2,300 Years of Indexing: From the Library of Alexandria to AI

If you visit the librarianship section of a library and scan the books on ‘indexing’, you’ll find broadly three kinds. The first are the practical guides. How should one actually go about creating an index? For the purposes of this blog, we’re not so interested in these (although we have a guide of our own), […]

Who’s Afraid of Reviewer #2?

No one is likely to argue that academia attracts many of the sorts of people who create spaces for collaboration, get involved with their colleagues’ projects, and value a supportive community that they lovingly nurture. As peer reviewers, some of these academics might even write things like ‘this journal is lucky to publish your article’, […]

Applying for a Research Grant: Some Dos and Donts | Andrei A. Buckareff

Suppose you’ve found a funding body to which you are interested in submitting a proposal for a grant. What now? Assuming that this is your first grant application, we recommend the following: collaborate with a veteran; go small; and find a niche that fits well with the vision of the agency from which you are requesting a grant.

Where are all the women? | International Women’s Day

  Our thoughts on International Women’s Day invariably return to a key piece of feminist literature, Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, which is well known for stating that ‘a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction’. Woolf’s essay talks us through how she came […]

Five Reasons Why Writing Your First Article Need Not Detract from Writing Your Dissertation | Lex Academic Blog

Should you be publishing peer-reviewed articles while in grad school? In the sciences, the response to this question would be a resounding 'yes'. In the humanities and social sciences, however, not everyone does this. Some prefer to start publishing only after defending their thesis.

Romance your Research | Lex Academic Blog

It’s hardly a surprise that some days you want to walk (run) away from your research out of boredom and frustration or seek a get-out clause in the desperate hope that absence will make the heart grow fonder. But escaping from the relentless admin and tedious Teams meetings that sit alongside a research career would also mean leaving your one true love.

How to Give and Receive Feedback | Lex Academic Blog

As academics, and even as students and managers, we’re asked to review and give feedback on everything from how a conference workshop went to our peers’ theories and methods. When we give feedback in our professional lives, we are fundamentally letting our thoughts be known.

How Sensitivity Readers Can Improve Your Work | Lex Academic Blog

Do sensitivity readers offer vital perspectives that help writers avoid causing offence, or do they represent the creeping tyranny of cancel culture?

A Short History of the Footnote | Lex Academic Blog

Footnotes divide opinion. Noel Coward once said that ‘having to read footnotes resembles having to go downstairs to answer the door while in the midst of making love’. Is the footnote, then, a scholarly facilitator or a self-indulgent textual thwart?

Insider Tips on Getting Published in English-language Journals | Karen Englander, Ph.D. | Lex Academic Blog

When English is your second language (and even when it isn't), passing through a journal's peer review process can be challenging. What is an author to do to improve their prospects of sailing through peer review? We have some ideas.

Insights into independent research: Moving out of traditional academia and how to keep your research engaging | Lex Academic Blog

A level of social stigma exists around independent academic research and researchers. And these biases die hard. Here, we look at the challenges and opportunities that exist within this liminal academic space.

Decoding a Book Proposal Form | Lex Academic Blog

Publishers' book proposal forms can feel broad and vague with not a huge amount of guidance on what each of the questions and sections is asking of you. With that in mind, Liza Thompson of Bloomsbury thought the most useful thing to do would be to work through the main sections of a proposal form and hopefully ‘decode’ them.

‘Coming Out’ as Working Class in Academia | Lex Academic Blog

'Since my "coming out", I’ve been told by middle-class academics I don’t belong in academia. And people I’ve known most of my life have accused me of being a class traitor.' We spoke to Dr Paul Craddock about getting on (and getting along) in academia.

The Necessity of Subject Matter Expertise for Academic Translation | Lex Academic Blog

Mistranslations are often funny...until they're not. Here's our view on why it's worth hiring a subject matter expert to translate your text.

The Transition to Writing in English in Non-Anglophone Institutions

The internationalisation of research has undeniably resulted in its Anglicisation. This raises the question of when researchers in non-Anglophone institutions begin to write academically in English.

Why a Great Thesis Doesn’t Always Make a Great Book | Lex Academic Blog

One of the most common reasons why publishers reject proposals for PhD-derived monographs is that they give the impression that the author does not understand the difference between a thesis and a book. In this post, we will look at some of the differences.

On Writing ‘I’: The First Person in Academic Prose | Lex Academic Blog

The use of the first person ‘I’ has traditionally been associated with arrogance and poor scholarship. Today, however, the first person appears regularly in academic writing, particularly in the humanities. In this post, we dissect the arguments against writing ‘I’ and suggest occasions where it might be used productively.

Why Research Outputs Should Be Open Access | Lex Academic Blog

Open access publishing is increasingly common and is often perceived as a more positive and inclusive way of disseminating academic research. In this post, we explore types of open access publishing and the benefits of this model.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Open Peer Review | Lex Academic Blog

Concerns about implicit bias in traditional methods of peer review, including double-blind, have prompted some journal publishers such as PLOS and Frontiers to implement an open peer review policy. In this post, we discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of this system.

Peer Review and Gender | Lex Academic Blog

Male academics outnumber their female counterparts as authors, journal editors and peer reviewers. To what extent is the peer review process responsible for this?

Peer Review Bias: What Is It, and What Causes It? | Lex Academic Blog

Although vital for ensuring the quality of publications, peer review is a far from perfect process. In this post, we discuss the concept of peer review bias, its forms and the ways different peer review processes enable and prevent it.

Viva, Soutenance, Disputation: How PhD Students around the World Defend Their Thesis | Lex Academic Blog

In the UK, it's called a 'viva'. In the US, it's a 'defense'. Have you ever wondered how PhD students around the world defend their thesis?

Levelling the Linguistic Playing Field within Academic Philosophy | Lex Academic Blog

Stylistic norms for writing affect philosophers’ professional prospects in unfair ways, and what one thinks should be done about this may be tied to one’s conception of what philosophy is supposed to do. (This piece first appeared in Daily Nous.)

“Publish or perish”: fact or fiction? | Lex Academic Blog

The perception that scholarly success depends on publishing frequently is pervasive across the disciplines. That this remains the case, despite the fact that there is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that ‘publishing’ can still lead to ‘perishing’, is worthy of investigation.

Should you format your paper for peer review? | Lex Academic Blog

Formatting a paper for peer review can be tedious and time-consuming, especially when there is no certainty that it will be accepted. So, should you bother?

5 Things Publishers Look For in Book Proposals | Lex Academic Blog

Understanding how to present your research in such a light that it appears outstanding from the perspective of a publishing professional is the key to getting noticed (and a contract).

Linguistic Bias in Academic Publishing | Lex Academic Blog

It’s no secret that the peer review process can be biased. Over the past several decades, there has been growing awareness of peer review bias and its effects on the careers of scholars. Efforts have been made to address bias, but it may be even more pervasive than realised.