• When and How to Correctly Cite a Podcast in Your Academic Work

    impactio blog:When and How to Correctly Cite a Podcast in Your Academic Work

    The first scholarly journal was published over 350 years ago. The first issue of Philosophical Transactions debuted in 1665. The journal included rudimentary peer-reviewed articles. It wasn’t until 1731 that peer-reviewing became the standard for published scholarly articles.

    Accurate, peer-reviewed articles are most often used in other research papers as citation sources. But with the creation of new mediums to disseminate information, not all of the citations used in scholarly articles can be fact-checked.

    YouTube videos and podcasts are now acceptable sources for scholarly research. Find out how to determine a reputable podcast, and then cite it in your academic paper.

    21st Century Innovations in Academics

    Scholarly journals have undergone a considerable transformation since the forefathers of academic publishing created the first journal. The first academic experts involved in peer-reviewing articles came from a small circle of friends and close colleagues. These days, the circle is larger and indiscriminate to personal relationships.

    The 21st century has had its own impact on the academic field. The internet was created in the late 20th century but really took hold in the early 2000s due to the popularity of social media. Now-defunct MySpace is typically considered the first social media site, pre-dating conglomerate Facebook.

    Broadcasting mediums have evolved rapidly alongside social media. Television and radio are slowly disappearing as streaming services, online videos, and podcasts are gradually replacing them. Technology moves quickly; it seems like just yesterday that citing audio and video clips became acceptable citations in scholarly journals.

    As podcasts become stand-ins for radio broadcasts, more academics are including podcasts in their research repertoire.

    How Podcasts Help Researchers

    Research material can come from all sorts of unconventional places. But academics must find verifiable and legitimate sources in order to include that information in their paper. Peer-reviewed articles are considered the most valid data source because experts in the academic field have confirmed the findings are accurate. 

    However, research articles must include a variety of sources instead of relying solely on peer-reviewed articles.  Podcasts are among the 21st century technology advancements finding their way into scholarly works.

    Many people think podcasts are for entertainment purposes only. However, podcasts have now become a popular way to spread or debate scientific knowledge. Academic researchers can likely find a podcast addressing and supporting the topic of their thesis.

    But they should beware of ‘fake news’ distributed via podcasts. At a time when the scientific community is under vast scrutiny, checking and double-checking sources is paramount to a factual research paper.

    Listening to podcasts from other creators isn’t the only way podcasts can benefit the scientific community. Podcasts can also help a researcher spotlight a colleague’s work by hosting their peer for an interview to discuss their colleague’s latest findings.

    How to Cite a Podcast

    Seasoned researchers doubtlessly have the APA citation format for books and journals memorized by heart. The format for citations from newer mediums, such as YouTube videos and podcasts, can take time to master.

    To confuse matters, podcasts can be in audio or video format. In fact, some podcasters upload their content to YouTube and other video-sharing sites.

    A podcast citation includes the host as the author, the date, information about the specific podcast episode, the titles of the podcast and production company, and the URL of the podcast if applicable. Podcasts can be listened to via cell phone apps instead of a website.

    APA podcast reference list format:

    Host last name, Initials. (Host). (Year, Month, Day). Episode title (No. Episode number) [Audio podcast episode]. In Podcast name. Production Company. URL

    APA In-text podcast citation:

    (Host, date, timestamp.)

    The timestamp is when the information used in the citation occurs in the episode.

    Comedian-turned-social-commentator Joe Rogan hosts the most popular podcast in the world. One episode featured entrepreneur Elon Musk for a wide-ranging interview discussing the idea that humans live in a virtual simulation. How would a researcher cite this podcast episode using APA format?

    APA reference list citation:

    Rogan, J.Host. (2018, September 7). Elon Musk (No.1169) [Audio podcast episode]. In The Joe Rogan Experience. Spotify. https://open.spotify.com/episode/2B07nNz3WIl7ptnCpu3TEy

    APA in-text citation:

    (Rogan, J., 2018, timestamp.)

    Follow Your Citations in Impactio

    Impactio Is America’s leading platform for scholars and researchers. The platform offers vast networking opportunities and data analytics. Researchers can utilize Impactio to track the trajectory of their research article citations.

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  • 6 Strategies for Better Navigating Academic Search Engines

    Impactio blog - 6 Strategies for Better Navigating Academic Search Engines

    The most-visited internet site in the world is a search engine. Google’s landing page gets almost 100 billion monthly visits, with over 5 billion unique daily search queries. Search engines have a wealth of information available at our fingertips.

    But sifting through the results generated by a search engine can be overwhelming. Even with strict search parameters, a search will result in pages and pages of content. Not all of which are relevant to the search query topic. 

    Scholars and researchers don’t have time to leisurely browse search engine results for the desired information, especially in the middle of a time-consuming research project. Luckily for scholars, one search engine is dedicated to academic papers.

    Find out the tricks and tips of parsing search engine queries to show only relevant responses.

    What’s a Search Engine For?

    When the World Wide Web first became mainstream in the early 1990s, search engines didn’t exist. Information found online was indexed by hand. Starting around 1993, a series of computer scientists created various early versions of search engines that scoured the internet for titles and headings but not specific words or keywords.

    WebCrawler was the first search engine that returned results for a specific word or words found on any web page. As you can imagine, the results were a mess of random web pages. Throughout the 90s, many search engines came and went, including Magellan, Infoseek, and Excite.

    Google’s eponymous search engine didn’t get its foot in the door until around 2000. Twenty-two years later, Google has a 90% monopoly on internet search engines. The word ‘Google’ itself is commonly used as a transitive verb, with ‘Google it’ becoming a common online refrain when someone doesn’t know something.

    Google’s search engine allows users to customize search options by including or excluding certain words and searching a specific website versus the entire world wide web.

    How does Google Scholar differ from the regular Google search engine?

    How to Use Academic Search Engines

    There are over 1 billion websites on the internet. Search engines can quickly scan through these sites to return a list of pages relevant to the searched-for term. But the search can amass an impenetrable number of results.

    For example, an unspecified Google search for “academic articles on frogs” returns 152 million results. When scholars are trying to find specific articles to use to defend or argue their thesis statement, it would take years to read through that many web pages.

    To combat this issue, Google Scholar was created in 2004 to focus exclusively for indexing and retrieving academic articles online. There are currently over 2 million academic research articles indexed on Google Scholarly.

    Google and Google Scholarly are often the first places researchers look for supporting articles, but it isn’t the only search engine geared toward academics. DataElixir and ResearchGate are two alternatives to Google Scholarly.

    Some academic search engines require login information or a paid fee to search for articles. Google Scholar is free.

    Tips to Navigate Your Way Through Search Engines Better

    Whether you’re using Google or another search engine, there are ways to optimize the results. Follow these 6 tips for navigating search engines. 

    Be Specific

    Narrowing your search to specific words instead of broad search terms will greatly reduce the number of irrelevant results. A search for the words ‘road map’ will generate millions more results than a more specific search of ‘New York City to Chicago road map.’

    Use Quotation Marks

    Quotation marks in your search query indicate for the software to search for the words in sequence. For example, if you’re searching for information about the movie Varsity Blues, a search without quotation marks will yield results regarding the 2021 college admission scandal nicknamed Operation Varsity Blues. 

    Exclude or Include Certain Words

    Adding plus or minus signs directly following a search term (no space) will include or exclude certain words. For example, if you’re looking for adoptable pets except for dogs, a search of “pets-dogs” without the quotes will exclude dogs from the search. 

    Include Website 

    If you already know the website you’re seeking information from, add that to your search query. If you’re looking for a recipe for meatloaf on Yummly, a search for “meatloaf Yummly” without the quotes will return with recipes only from Yummly. 

    Utilize Search Tab

    After searching certain words, internet users can toggle the tabs for other types of content, such as videos, images, and news. 

    A search for the dog breed Weimaraner will return results that lead to blogs or articles about the breed. Toggling to the images tab shows photos found online of the regal hunting dog. 

    Searching Social Media

    Social media sites have their own search features, but outside search engines can be useful in finding the right social media profile or other information. For example, if you want to find the Twitter handle of science guy Bill Nye, a search for “Bill Nye Twitter” without the quotes will take you right to his Twitter account. 

    Search engines are incredibly useful for quickly finding journal articles and other information to bolster an academic’s research paper. Using the six strategies for optimizing your search engine can save time and energy. 

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  • Understanding the Difference Between a Primary and a Secondary Source

    Every research paper needs to give credit by citing where the information was found. But did the information come from a primary or secondary source? Mainly physical books and journals are used to provide the material found in research papers.

    Read on to learn which sources are best to give your research paper credibility.

    The Basic Breakdown of Primary and Secondary Sources

    By the time one reaches post-doc, they are likely well-versed in writing academic research papers. Despite the lengthy experience writing papers, the difference between primary and secondary sources can still be confusing. Especially when you have to factor in how to cite sources found on the vast internet.

    Primary sources are those with a first-hand account of a historical event or the time period being researched. If writing a research paper about something that happened in the past, your primary source is someone who witnessed the event.

    If you’re performing research on a topic in the present day, your first-person interviews or experiments can be considered primary sources.  

    Secondary sources come from people or agencies who weren’t directly involved in the event. These sources offer background information about what happened but not first-hand testimony. Secondary sources often consist of someone else’s research, review, or commentary on the topic.

    Old-School Primary and Secondary Decisions

    One could reason that research papers that rely solely on first-hand experience have more factual weight than those with secondary sources. But research papers require both primary and secondary sources.

    Primary sources provide credible evidence, while secondary sources provide background information not found in the first-hand telling of events. What constitutes primary and secondary sources?

    Examples of primary and secondary sources:

    Primary source

    ●      Letters

    ●      Autobiographies

    ●      Diary entries

    ●      Interviews

    ●      Historical documents

    Secondary source

    ●      Academic journal articles

    ●      Biographies

    ●      Reviews

    ●      Textbooks

    ●      Research essays

    Moving on to Citing Sources in the 21st Century

    Before the boom of the internet, finding sources for your research paper was sometimes like finding a needle in a haystack. Scholars would head to their local academic or public library, where the research process would begin with the card catalog.

    Long before libraries had a digital index of every book on the premises, the information would be in the large filing cabinets known as card catalogs. The small index cards listed relevant information such as the title of the book, the author, the subject, and a brief summary. Then the researcher had to hunt down the physical book from the stacks using the Dewey Decimal system.

    Once the desired book was located, the researcher would read through or skim the entire book for the relevant material, making notes (on paper!) that included the page number and other citation information.

    And all that work isn’t even including journals, which were kept behind the circulation desk. The librarian working behind the desk would often point researchers toward the relevant journal.

    Now with the internet, all of that information is available with a search query term and the click of a mouse.

    But somehow, citing sources can actually be more difficult in the 21st century than ever before. Why?

    The internet has an endless amount of information, but that information is not always attributed to the correct, or any, source.

    To make things more difficult, one research paper might be referenced time and again, making the secondary source a convoluted maze to track down the original citation.

    Throw in social media and YouTube videos, which are difficult to discern fact from fiction.

    Regardless if you use old-school research methods or an internet search, finding your primary and secondary sources isn’t an easy task. However, both types of sources are necessary for ensuring both the reliability (primary sources) and the background (secondary sources) of the research.

    Good luck hunting!

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  • What are Collocations and How Can You Use Them Correctly in Your Writing

    impactio blog:What are Collocations and How Can You Use Them Correctly in Your Writing

    The English language is considered one of the hardest languages to learn. It is rife with similarly spelled words with completely different meanings and complex sentences. There are hard and fast rules to the language, then there are bits of language that have no rhyme or reason, making even native English language speakers scratch their heads and wonder if they’re right or not.

    Collocations fall in the latter category. If you’ve never heard of this term, you’re not alone. It’s not something taught in detail in the average English curriculum. A collocation is defined as two or more words that join together to form a unique meaning that is readily understood by English speakers but probably not by those who speak it as a second language. In many cases, the speaker isn’t aware of the collocation. They’re simply repeating a phrase they’ve heard during prolonged exposure to the English language.

    While the scientific community is composed of different nations and languages, journals are primarily published in English. English was adopted centuries ago as the communal and universal language for scholars and researchers, back when it was the most common second language learned by those in medical and business industries.

    Of course, a vast percentage of researchers aren’t native English speakers, which means that many higher education articles are written with English as the author’s second language. This can cause translation problems, particularly when using collocations, which can’t be replaced with a synonym. 

    Understanding Collocations

    There are two types of collocations – a weak one and a strong one. A collocation is pairing one or more words together to create a particular meaning.  A weak collocation includes a word that pairs with many other words within the English language. 

    A strong collocation is comprised of at least one word that doesn’t pair well with others. For example, blonde hair is a strong collocation because blonde doesn’t pair with many other English words.

    How to Write a Collocation

    Collocations can be difficult to teach and to learn. They are inherently part of a native English speaker’s language to the point they may not even notice the collocation. There may not be strict rules regarding collocations, but there are guidelines to follow instead of mashing two random words together.

    Of course, to non-native English speakers, the words in the collocation will seem like randomized word pairings. There are at least six types of collocations.

    Adjective + noun

    Example: She was in excruciating pain after the car accident. 

    Noun + verb

    Example: People in the South are relieved when temperatures fall.

    Verb + noun 

    Example: The happy couple couldn’t wait to get married and spend their lives together.

    Verb + adverb

    Example: I can vaguely remember her face, but not her name.

    Adverb + adjective

    Example: She was completely satisfied with the house renovations.

    Noun + noun

    Example: He felt a surge of anger when a classmate plagiarized his work.

    Academic writing is much more complex than the above examples. How should scholars incorporate collocations into their academic papers?

    Common Collocation Phrases Used in Academics and Their Improper Counterparts

    A scholar or researcher likely defaults to their academic vocabulary when comprising their findings into a research paper. The text of the paper must be accessible to all readers, even when explaining complex ideas. Collocations are commonly used in academic papers.

    But those common phrases won’t have the same meaning if replaced with a synonym. What are some of the most frequent collocations used in academic writing? And which phrases don’t pair well together? Here’s one example of an academic collocation:

    Correct Collocation: A scholar’s job is to search for evidence that supports their hypothesis.

    Improper Collocation: A scholar’s job is to research evidence that supports their hypothesis.

    If you’re unsure about how to use collocations, several online collocation dictionaries can help.

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  • Strategies for Turning Your Home Office into the Ideal Work Environment

    impactio blog:Strategies for Turning Your Home Office into the Ideal Work Environment

    It’s not a stretch to say that COVID completely revamped the way education is approached around the world. Now, virtual learning is almost as common, if not more so, as in-person classrooms. As many students make the switch to an online environment, teachers and professors must adjust to this remote system, as well.

    Whether you’re excited to work from home or it’s something you’d rather not do, much of your productivity and success depends on your home office work environment. The right atmosphere encourages you to wake up, start your day, and stay in a flow, but the wrong space does the opposite. It’s distracting and can discourage you from being productive.

    Even if your “home office” is a desk tucked away in the corner of your living room, you can still do a few things to ensure you’re creating a positive work environment. Let these tips guide you as you make the transition into a remote workspace.

    How to Turn Your Home Office Into a Productive Atmosphere

    Let’s start with the basic foundation: You need a desk. It’s tempting to work from your couch or even (gasp) your bed if you can get away with it. While this sounds like a dream job, it’s highly dangerous to your productivity and your health.

    Working away from a desk encourages you to slouch and plays havoc with your back, neck, and gluteal muscles. With a computer chair and a desk at the right level for your body size, you’re more likely to have good posture and limit the pain that comes from desk work.

    With that said, the proper placement of your desk is important if you want to enhance productivity. Place your desk where everything you’ll need, such as your printer and office supplies, are easily reached. You don’t want to have to get up and move every time you need to get something.

    Try to limit how much open space you have without being cluttered. Large, open spaces tend to be noisier, so when you hear something, it’s extra distracting. But there’s a necessary balance here. When you’re surrounded by clutter, it’s nearly impossible to concentrate truly. Your brain consistently processes all the stimuli it sees, hears, and smells.

    Whether you notice it or not, it’s doing this. When you think you’re working without distraction, your body is still processing things, and you’ll notice that you get tired quickly. Less clutter improves productivity and keeps you from becoming overly stimulated.

    A few simple ways you can minimize clutter are:

    ●      Wrapping up power cords, so they’re not roaming freely and messily

    ●      Go wireless where you can, such as with your printer and internet

    ●      Keep as few items on your desk as you can get away with

    ●      Limit personal items to only those that truly inspire and motivate you to work harder

    ●      Use storage solutions that hide your clutter

    ●      Clean your desk area at the end of every day, so you start the next day fresh

    However, just as vital as how you set up your clutter-free desk with the ideal setup is what you shouldn’t do.

    What to Avoid When Working From Home

    Once again, if you’re not on a video call the whole workday, you will have to work hard to push yourself to be productive. This starts from the beginning of the day when you decide what to wear “to work.” By dressing as though you were heading to the classroom or office, you’re more likely to convince your brain that it’s time to get to work. Yes, those pajamas are comfy, and so are yoga pants and t-shirts. But how you dress is part of your home office work environment, and you should dress like you’re ready to be productive.

    Finally, and possibly one of the most vital things to remember when you’re a hard-working, incessantly busy researcher and professor, is to keep to a schedule. What hours would you be working if you weren’t at home? Try to stick to those as much as possible. It’s easy to become a workaholic if you don’t have structure.

    You need a personal life, too. Include some time in your week to go to lunch with friends and family, run your errands, and engage in your favorite hobbies. Don’t let the fact that you can work any time you want keep you doing it so much that you forget to live your life.

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  • 5 Benefits of Maintaining a Diverse Faculty In Higher Ed

    impactio blog:5 Benefits of Maintaining a Diverse Faculty In Higher Ed

    Diversity is a part of every aspect of society in civilized countries, and it should be reflected in the educational environment. One can not assume that every student is well-versed in inclusion simply because they’re in the higher education classroom. It continues to remain part of the role of each professor and faculty member to model this behavior in front of each learning mind they interact with, no matter how young or old.

    One way to do this is at the institutional level, as the hiring bodies ensure they model diversity among faculty members. Students are smart subconsciously: Those who don’t look like their role models will realize that quickly and begin internalizing it. When the institution makes it a point to hire those with diverse backgrounds, everyone benefits.

    What Diversity Means

    Diversity extends into every aspect of a cultured civilization. It appears in a person’s age, gender, background, ethnicity, experiences, and every other factor that makes an individual unique. All of these differences add to the richness of the world, particularly in the person’s direct environment. This is an essential part of teaching as the experiences of a student shape the way they learn and interact with others.

    When these differences are accepted and shared, it enhances the intellect and personality of those who learn from them. However, this must be done strategically, as it can also decrease cohesiveness and increase stress and anxiety. By implementing an instructional system where the faculty is comprised of diverse intellectuals ready to work together for the good of the students and institution, the advantages become exponential.

    Why Higher Ed Needs to Be Diverse

    The benefits of a diverse higher education institution impact students, faculty, and the community. These changes systematically enhance society at large as those with diverse backgrounds come together and learn how to integrate as a whole.

    When higher ed is diverse, students are exposed to role models like themselves and see openings in their future they may not have considered before. On the opposite spectrum, students get to know and respect individuals from other cultures and with different values. This opens them up to perspectives they didn’t have and helps them to see that “different” can equate to “good” in many situations.

    From a legal viewpoint, diversity is also required. Educational institutions must be diligent about adhering to the ever-changing laws on inclusion, from student bodies and curricula to faculty diversity.

    Diversifying the Faculty Has Many Benefits

    Whether you’re attempting to diversify due to preferences or because you’re legally obligated to do so, when you strategically bring in unique individuals to form a collective whole, you’ll see a plethora of benefits. They won’t happen overnight, but if you encourage cohesion and acceptance, the advantages are widespread. Here are five simple benefits that make an immense difference to the students that you’re educating.

    1. They’re prepared for the real world. Some of your students may have been sheltered from other perspectives because of their home environment. However, the real world is full of diversity, from race and ethics to socioeconomic factors. Bringing this diversity to a controlled environment teaches students how to respect people with other values and differences before they graduate.
    2. Discrimination is reduced. No matter where you go, discrimination happens when those involved aren’t educated on diversity. This can become a legal issue if a person doesn’t understand the ramifications of discrimination and is sued because of their behavior. Teaching students in the education system about discrimination and the consequences can reduce these claims.
    3. Positive relationships are fostered. When a student enters the school with biases, then builds a relationship with someone who meets the characteristics of those biases, they begin to question previous beliefs. Eventually, they realize that what they assumed to be true isn’t, and this tends to lead them to question their other limiting beliefs, as well.
    4. Students feel like they belong. Depending on the person’s background and environment, they may have felt like they were the only “different” one in the world. While we all know better, logic doesn’t always play a role when someone feels excluded. This is common with those who live in an inclusive system, yet they’re deaf, blind, or have other disabilities and don’t know anyone else with those shared characteristics. Through meeting others who also are uniquely designed, it enhances a student’s sense of belonging.
    5. Students are better served educationally. Statistics show that students in a diverse environment have better test scores than their counterparts. Heterogeneous environments encourage and foster creativity, shared learning, and increased knowledge.

    Putting a diverse faculty in place in your institution will have benefits extending far beyond the school year.

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  • Are Emojis Ever Applicable in Academic Writing?

    impactio blog: Are Emojis Ever Applicable in Academic Writing?

    Emojis are everywhere. Whether you’re texting on your phone or scrolling through social media, you will see an emoji. Perhaps you even use them yourself when posting a new Facebook status.

    The most popular emoji is the laugh-cry one that indicates laughing until you’re crying. Officially dubbed the ‘Face With Tears Of Joy,” It is typically meant to show that you find something humorous In fact, it was named Word of The Year by the Oxford Dictionary in 2015.

    We use and see emojis so often in our everyday life that the digital image can sneak into our work product. Should emojis be used in professional settings such as academic writing?

    The Origins of Emojis

    The smiling face emoji is one of the most used and recognizable emojis. The modern-day emoji can be traced back to the 1960s. American artist Harvey Ball was tasked with creating an uplifting logo for a group of insurance companies.

    Ball quickly created a simple logo: A yellow circle with two dots representing eyes. But what caught everyone’s attention was the wide, curvy smile.

    The visual representation went digital in the 1990s in Japan. Interface designer Shigetaka Kurita is considered the creator of early emojis. Apple was the first cell phone company in the U.S. to add an emoji keyboard to its operating system.

    Contrary to popular belief, the word “emoji” is not derived from the word “emotion.” In Japanese, the word literally translates to “drawn language character.”

    There are over 3000 emojis to use today. But should academic writing include them?

    When Emojis Are Acceptable in Higher Ed

    In texts and emails, emojis can be a great way to break the ice, or clarify the meaning of the message. Do emojis have a place in higher education? That depends on what you’re writing and to whom.

    In general, emojis tend to add a light-heartedness, which isn’t always welcome in a professional setting. Studies show that the use of emojis undermines the original message. If you use an emoji in your professional communications, you may appear less qualified among your peers.

    Adding an emoji or two might make your academic paper relate to the younger generation, but at what cost? Your professional standing could suffer, as well as the validity of your research.

    That doesn’t mean those in the academic field can never use emojis. When sharing your work on social media platforms, emojis can engage your followers. But in a professional correspondence or research paper, it’s best to let the words stand alone and speak for themselves without emojis.

    Journals may outright reject papers that have emojis due to concerns over professionalism.

    The best time to use emojis in higher education is in private messages with your peers. They can also be used in classrooms to engage with students.

    When You Should Never Use Emoticons

    Emojis have a time and a place. The academia world may not be one of them. Of the 3000 available emojis, some do depict science, technology, and even reading. However, many emojis have double or triple meanings that can be hard for the reader to decipher.

    It is easy to incorrectly use an emoji if you don’t fully understand all of its meanings. For example, that purple eggplant emoji is rarely used to discuss the fruit.

    A smiley face may seem to be an innocent way to express positive feelings. But it can easily be misconstrued as passive-aggressive.

    Additionally, some emojis can be offensive if used incorrectly. One constant debate is whether the emoji of two hands held together is a prayer emoji or a high-five emoji.

    Want to Show Off Your Emoji Game? Talk to Your Impactio Network

    Emojis may not have a place in your research papers, but the visual representation is acceptable on social media. Impactio is America’s premier networking platform for scholars and researchers. It’s also the perfect place to find the data analytics of your work.

    Scholars can work on their emoji game while in communication with their network of peers. Social media is much more informal than an academic research paper. Join Impactio today to start connecting with others in your field.

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  • Should Foreign Terms Be Allowed in Your Writing?

    impactio blog:Should Foreign Terms Be Allowed in Your Writing?

    Academic writing is already full of complex language. Does using foreign terms help or hurt the accessibility of your writing? There isn’t a hard and fast rule about using non-English words in academic papers.

    So, how do authors know if their usage is appropriate or not? In many instances, it depends on the context and how familiar the word might be to your readers. What guidelines should you follow when determining if a foreign term is suitable for your audience?

    The Origins of the English Language

    The English language is one of the most difficult languages in the world, which is strange considering its origins. Overall, the English language is a hybrid of different dialects.

    The roots of English can be traced back to the 5th century, when it was brought to Britain by migrants. The playwright William Shakespeare is credited with influencing Modern English that’s still used today. He created over a thousand words that are still prevalently used, including “bandit” and “critic.”

    Early Modern English heavily borrowed from other languages, including Latin and French. Many words used today derive from the Latin language.

    Why English is One of the Main Languages of Science

    A large percentage of ‘regular’ English derives from Latin words. If you include the vocabulary used in academia and science, that number jumps to almost 100 percent.  So, why are the majority of scholarly journals in the English language?

    The answer is simple: English is the most common language in the world. Is it the official language of Earth? No. But it is the lingua franca, meaning it’s the adopted language of a community that doesn’t speak the same shared language.

    The Italian term is literally translated to “Frankish language.”

    The science community unilaterally considers English its primary language internationally. For non-native English speakers, this does require extra effort when writing second language research papers. 

    Types of Foreign Terms Used in Academic Writing and How to Include Them

    Academic writing still heavily relies on Latin and Greek terms. In a research paper composed mostly of English, those foreign words can trip readers up. Luckily for authors and readers alike, there is a method of differentiating between English and another language in the text. Italics are used as a warning to the reader that the term is foreign.

    The English language has appropriated many foreign terms to the point that they are immediately familiar to readers and therefore not in italics. How do writers know when to use italics? They must use their best judgment when deciding which words are foreign enough to need italics.

    If a foreign term is universally understood, there’s no need to italicize it. For example, Latin terms “e.g.” and “i.e.” (“for example,” and ‘in other words,” respectively) are often used in academic writing but aren’t italicized because they are commonly used in English literature.

    Scientific names for animals and plants are always italicized.  

    Similarly, if the meaning of a foreign word can be interpreted by the context surrounding it, italics may not be necessary. It depends on the style guide followed. Sometimes, it can be left to the author’s personal preferences.

    What Kind of Terms to Avoid

    Placing unfamiliar foreign terms in italics gives readers a nudge that the word is from another language other than English. Whether in English, Latin, Greek, etc., some words should be outright avoided in academic writing.

    Slang or informal jargon doesn’t belong in scholarly works unless from a citation or quote.

    Likewise, vulgarity and swearing are frowned upon. That includes words that can be construed as having a lewd double meaning. Cliches are discouraged from academic writing.

    Academic writers must balance their text with complex language while being accessible to all readers. Scholars whose English is a second language have an uphill battle to translate their research findings from their native language in a grammatically correct way.

    Foreign words are welcome — even expected — in academic research. It is the author’s responsibility to fuse the words into their writing seamlessly.

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  • Understanding the Good, Bad, and Ugly of Research Titles

    impactio blog:Understanding the Good, Bad, and Ugly of Research Titles

    Choosing the right title for your research paper can be the deciding factor in whether it gets published or not. At a time when ‘clickbait’ headlines are rampant, deciding on a title for your research paper can be stressful.

    Well-established guidelines for the titles of academic writing can help narrow your title options down until you find the perfect balance. But first, why are titles so important?

    What’s in a Name?

    “That which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet” is a famous line from Romeo and Juliet. William Shakespeare wrote his famous play in the 16th century, but it’s still quoted today. The most popular interpretation of that line is that names don’t matter. But they do. In fact, their respective names are ultimately what caused Romeo and Juliet’s tragic end. 

    When it comes to the written format, the name (title) is almost always the first thing people read. If something in the name sparks an interest, they will continue reading. If not, they will move on to the next thing.

    As more researchers use social media to promote their articles, keywords and an attention-grabbing title increase the chances of going viral.

    Conversely, an exaggerated, bombastic title could put off traditional readers, as well as journal editors. Essentially, you want a catchy but refined title. How do authors find that balance?

    The Basic Rules of Research Titles

    Luckily, there are rules academic writers can follow that will guide them in choosing how to title their paper. What are the dos and don’ts of research titles?

    Do This

    ●      Use action words. Active verbs will help make the title ‘pop.’

    ●      Use less than 15 words in your title. Academic research titles are generally 13-15 words or 100 characters.

    ●      Use correct grammar. Article words, prepositions, and conjunction words aren’t capitalized. The first word of a subtitle is capitalized. Use APA grammar guidelines.

    ●      Use keywords from research. If possible, sprinkle a few keywords from your article in the title to help with SEO.

    ●      Use journal guidelines. Learn the guidelines of the journal you’re submitting your paper to, and make sure you are following instructions.

    Don’t Do This

    ●      Use abbreviations. Abbreviations, roman numerals, and acronyms should be avoided in titles.

    ●      Use conjunctions “study of,” “results of,” etc.

    ●      Use periods, semicolons, or exclamation marks. Colons are used if you include a subtitle.

    ●      Use full scientific names. Instead of using complex scientific names, shorten them or avoid them.

    ●      Use chemical formulas. Replace chemical formulas in the title with their common name.

    Your research title should be accessible and easily understood by everyone, even those outside the academic community. What else makes a dynamic title for your research paper?

    How to Choose a Title for Your Paper

    The first title you give your paper likely won’t be the last. Give your research paper a working title that reflects the nature of the topic. The working title will help you keep your writing focused on the topic at hand.

    A good research title has three components:

    1. What is the purpose of the research?
    2. What tone is the paper taking?
    3. What research methods were used?

    The answers to those three questions will anchor your paper and will inform your title.

    You can also seek suggestions about the title from your direct peers and mentor.

    The main factor in an academic research paper title is that it accurately but briefly depicts the scope and subject of the research.

    Do You Need a Subtitle?

    Research papers often have long titles divided by a colon. Is the secondary part, the subtitle, necessary? That depends on your main title. Is it enough to catch the attention of readers while giving enough context to the topic of the article?

    Subtitles are useful for providing more details about your paper to pique interest, but they aren’t necessary. 

    After all your hard work on the research paper, the title may be the only thing anyone reads. Choose your title wisely.

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  • Tips for Finding the Best Journal to Present Your Research

    impactio blog:Tips for Finding the Best Journal to Present Your Research

    Before you leave your child, a pet, an elderly parent, or anything else that you cherish in the care of someone, you vet that person and the organization they represent carefully. Will they protect this person you love so much as you would?

    A similar kind of care must go into how you evaluate journal publishers before handing over the research you’ve worked painstakingly hard on for so long. Submitting your work to the wrong journal might result in it getting published, but no one will see it. And, like the tree falling in the woods dilemma, if a manuscript is published and no one reads it, was it really published?

    Worse, when you publish in a journal that isn’t reputable, it can reduce the credibility of your research, which then limits your career paths.

    So, you must find the best journal to present your research. There are various types of journal publishers, and each of them have their own preferred scope. Put aside the fears of rejection and start at the top, aiming for the cream of the crop in your field. This short article will help you learn how to do that successfully. 

    Types of Journal Publishers

    First, consider what type of publishing you want for your article. In today’s digital world, open access publishing is very common, but it’s not essential.

    One choice is to stick with both online and printed articles. If that’s what you prefer, then you need to narrow your search down to journal publishers who do both. Online publishing is inexpensive, and it’s easy to find journals willing to publish articles from “unknown” researchers if they can do so digitally. These usually offer open or limited access to readers.

    You can publish article-by-article online. With these publishers, the article is published as soon as it’s accepted, which speeds up the process for you, and reduces costs on the publisher’s end. This, again, provides open or limited access to the audience.

    Other, popular publishers offer draft publication. These journals are coveted by authors, so they receive a lot of submission requests every day. Getting accepted for publication in these journals is difficult, with some companies holding a 96% rejection rate. Consider the timeliness of your work, as well. If you submit something that is timely and relevant, by the time it goes through the review, acceptance, and publication process, it may not be important anymore.

    Finally, you could publish your work online only. Scientific journals host articles for authors, reducing everyone’s cost. If your concern is reaching a wide audience, look for publishers that provide free access to their readers.

    How to Find Your Ideal Journal

    When you’re selecting a journal, start by checking out the journal publishers of the work you and your institution use commonly as part of your normal research and clinical care references. You know those publishers are reputable, and they release accurate and rigorously reviewed articles.

    From there, review each journal you’re considering, and review their reputation for scientific rigor, peer review, and editorial quality. Is the journal known for its transparency? Does it match the aim and scope your research covers? What are its considerations for indexing? Is the peer review process legitimate or rushed? Above all, does the journal have the kind of reputation you want associated with your name?

    The good news is that there are sources you can use to do much of this for you. Many scholars use Think.Check.Submit. (https://thinkchecksubmit.org/) as one method of searching for the right journal for their article. You can also run your criteria through Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing from the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (https://oaspa.org/princples-of-transparency-and-best-practice-in-scholarly-publishing/).

    You’ll still have to do the due diligence of deciding which reputable journals are right for your article, and going through the steps to get your work accepted. But you’ll know for sure that the journal you chose has a history of integrity and solid practice, as well as a top reputation.

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