Consultations help publish in top journals, hone writing skills

HSE associate professor shares her experience of publishing research in top journals with the help of the Academic Writing Center

Juggling teaching, publishing in top journals, and leading a bachelor’s program is something that Vera Rebiazina, an associate professor for the Department of Strategic Marketing, does easily. She was voted the best teacher twice in 2015 and 2017 and published two research articles on marketing in top international journals in 2018. According to Vera, the Academic Writing Center services were of great help.

The first time Rebiazina contacted the Center was in 2016, when she took part in a course called “My first preprint”. In reality, it was not the first academic text in English for Rebiazina, but she said that she didn’t have enough confidence, lacked some knowledge and applied for the course to fill the gaps.

”I felt that I lacked some competencies, and I couldn’t organize the process of writing,” she said. “I felt the need to get some organizational and language support.”

The course focused on teaching how to write a preprint in the HSE series and incorporated classes on research methodology, editing, abstract writing, and many others. As a result, Rebiazina published her first preprint in the HSE, but she said the knowledge that she acquired was relevant to contexts much wider than just a preprint.

“I could apply what I learnt to writing a research article in general,” she said. “Now I clearly understand the logic of the writing process, and up to this day I use the notes from the course when I write research papers.”

Since then, Rebiazina has been a frequent visitor of the center. She has been coming regularly to individual consultations for the past two years, while working on two articles that are already published in top journals — Industrial Marketing Management and The Journal of Business Research. According to the ABS Journal Guide, these journals rank 10 and 15 respectively.

Rebiazina comes to individual consultations before submitting her manuscripts to journals in order to proofread the text and get rid of the “classic mistakes” — articles and wrong punctuation.

“I’ve noticed that once you’ve booked an individual consultation, you start writing and editing your manuscript to the degree that it’s almost done.”

“Obviously, language is very important,” she said. “All non-native speakers make mistakes, and that can become a problem. Even if your ideas are marvellous, little mistakes and grammar slips can ruin the whole impression.”

Rebiazina said that individual consultations helped her improve her self-editing skills — now she notices common mistakes and corrects them without external assistance. Also, the course and the consultations that she attended increased her language confidence.

“I know how to organize my text and writing process in general, so I don’t stress out when working on a new research paper,” she said.

It usually takes Rebiazina two consultations to complete one manuscript with the average speed of 10 pages per hour. At the moment, Rebiazina is working on a new research article and planning to submit it to Industrial Marketing Management.

Even though the writing process is challenging and time-consuming, Rebiazina is firm to continue publishing her research articles in top international journals. She doesn’t have a clear deadline for the new paper yet, but she said that booking a consultation at the AWC gives a boost to the writing process.

“I’ve noticed that once you’ve booked an individual consultation, you start writing and editing your manuscript to the degree that it’s almost done,” she said. “You don’t want to feel ashamed of your text, that’s why booking a consultation guarantees that you will have almost completed your paper by that date.”

Rebiazina added that a consultation is an opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue, where the consultant may question unclear parts, as well as consultees are welcome to challenge some corrections.

“What I also like is that the consultant doesn’t rewrite your words,” she said. “Of course, they correct some structures or sentences and help you find more suitable words, but they manage to preserve the original author’s position.”

If you are interested in reading top-notch research by Vera Rebiazina and her colleagues, we invite you to follow the links below:

  1. Smirnova M., Rebiazina V. A., Frosen J. Customer orientation as a multidimensional construct: Evidence from the Russian markets // Journal of Business Research. 2018. Vol. 86. P. 457–467.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.10.040 JCR impact factor 2,509; SJR: Q1 (2017).

2. Smirnova M., Rebiazina V. A., Khomich S. When does innovation collaboration pay off? The role of relational learning and the timing of collaboration // Industrial Marketing Management. 2018. Vol. 74. P. 126–137.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2017.11.001 JCR impact factor 3,678; SJR: Q1 (2017).

The Academic Writing Center at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, provides writing support to everyone involved in research.

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