Getting published – hot tips.

The following tips were used for discussion at a recent seminar. They might be of interest:


  • Have something to say. Be clear about what it is that you are adding to the literature. Answer the ‘so what?’ question before a reviewer asks it. What’s the novel spin?


  • Target a journal from the outset. You need to know the style, preferred length, favoured topics and methodologies of the target journal. Do your homework on this. Read the guidance for authors. Look closely at the scope of the journal – they may have different categories of papers (research papers, reviews, opinion pieces etc.). Be clear what you are submitting. Read some recent issues. 
  • Target a sensible journal. Look up their acceptance rate. If it is only 5%, it might not be a good venue for your first attempt at publishing.

  • A clear title. Clear and succinct. Also, focus on the idea or concept that you are covering and not the discipline or the location. For example, geographical location in the title suggests limited international appeal.


  • Select key words. These are increasingly important for online searches and should not repeat the words in the title. Think what people might be looking for.

  • Abstract. It is important and must be clear and self-contained. Some reviewers never get past the abstract if it is poor. Ensure it fits with the journal style (look at the current volume) as some are structured and some are free-form.

  • Cite the journal you are targeting. Make it explicit to the editor that this is of interest to his/her readership.

  • Give an up-to-date reference list.
    “Recent research (Smith, 1948) has shown…”

  • Reference the methods. Don’t assume the reviewer will always be familiar with a particular methodology. If there is a ‘classic’ reference, cite it. If there are contemporary references, cite them too so show it still has currency.

  • Reference style – (accuracy and consistency). This causes editors more problems than anything else. Ensure you have adopted the correct style, and you will have to reformat them if you then resubmit somewhere else. Some journals will reject on this alone. It may vary for journals, books and web sites. (even just replacing : with , takes time).
  • Use clear English. Avoid flowery sentences and explain any peculiar terms. Short sentences are usually better than long convoluted sentences.

  • Figures must add something to the story you are telling. You don’t need a pie chart to say 50% of the cohort were female!


  • Be upfront about weaknesses and explain them. Few papers are perfect, so show the referees that you are aware that there could be improvements. If you don’t, they will.
  • Don’t make unjustified claims. “This proves that….” is rarely true. More likely to be ‘consistent with’ or ‘indicative’.

  • Check grammar and spelling. If you want to irritate a reviewer, give him/her lots of spelling mistakes to grumble about. Get someone to proof read your document as after a while you only tend to read what you think is on the page.

  • Conclusions This should do more than repeat the results and should revisit the underpinning theory to help evaluate your paper.
  • Learn to cope with rejection! We all get “Dear John” letters. Sometimes reviewers have a point and you can learn from their comments. Sometimes they don’t, and you just have to move on – not necessarily to a lower-ranked journal. But if you never get rejected – you are not aiming high enough.

  • You don’t have to agree! Depending on the nature of the reviewers’ comments, you don’t always have to roll-over and submit. Sometimes it may be necessary to disagree with a reviewer on a particular point. They are not Gods. However, often an editor will agree with a reviewer so there’s no point in contesting everything.

  • There’s always another journal, see:

Concept mapping & pedagogic frailty – special issue




A special issue of Knowledge Management & E-Learning is now available at:



Contents page available below:




254   Editorial: Pedagogic frailty and concept mapping

Ian M. Kinchin and Paulo R. M. Correia


261   Do no harm: Risk aversion versus risk management in the context of pedagogic frailty

Julie A. Hulme and Naomi E. Winstone


275   Mapping the emotional journey of teaching

Emma Jones


295   Pedagogic frailty: A concept analysis

Ian M. Kinchin


311   Russian university teachers’ ideas about pedagogic frailty

Svetlana Nikolaevna Kostromina, Daria Sergeevna Gnedykh and Ekaterina Aleksandrovna Ruschack


329   Using concept mapping for faculty development in the context of pedagogic frailty

Bárbara de Benito, Alexandra Lizana and Jesús Salinas


348   Developing higher-order thinking skills with concept mapping: A case of pedagogic frailty

 Alberto J. Cañas, Priit Reiska and Aet Möllits


366   From representing to modelling knowledge: Proposing a two-step training for excellence in concept mapping

Joana G. Aguiar and Paulo R. M. Correia


380   Challenges and weaknesses in the use of concept maps as a learning strategy in undergraduate health programs

Enios Carlos Duarte, Ana Claudia Loureiro and Cristina Zukowsky-Tavares


392   An exploration into pedagogic frailty: Transitioning from face-to-face to online 

Irina Niculescu, Roger Rees and Darren Gash


404   Making connections and building resilience: Developing workshops with undergraduates

Julia Anthoney, Rachel Stead and Katie Turney


Values underpinning flipped pedagogy


Flipped pedagogy is not really an issue of technology. It is a problem of teaching. What guides that teaching is the values that underpin our decisions in classroom management. Whilst we could write books on this subject, for practical purposes here, I would suggest four guiding principles that should be considered:

Appreciate students’ prior knowledge. This is not to say that we have to assess each student to see what they are bringing with them. If you have a class of 400 students, such one-to-one interrogation is not practical. It is more important that students activate their own prior knowledge and understand what is important in the ‘new context’ of the current course.

Consider the relationship between meaningful and rote learning. Do you want students to memorise facts to be regurgitated or do you want them to be able to apply those higher order thinking skills that require synthesis, evaluation and creation of knowledge?

Consider the value of formative assessment. This can help to activate prior knowledge and get students to better appreciate our expectations of meaningful learning. Well-constructed formative assignments can also help students to organise and structure their knowledge so that it can be used more effectively in the future.

Consider where you want to be on the student-centred / teacher-centred spectrum. Again, this relates to the ways in which the previous principles are enacted.

These four guiding principles are not isolated from each other. The relationships between these elements are dynamic – see the figure below. Therefore, if we fail with respect to one of these guiding principles, we are in danger of letting to whole enterprise collapse.

In the PowerPoint slides that are included below, I show how the neglect of meaningful learning (possibly through lack of constructive alignment between learning outcomes and assessments) allows the dominance of rote learning to negate any interest in formative assessment or prior knowledge. The outcome of this will be a focus on lower order thinking skills and a retreat into traditional, conservative modes of teaching:


values and principles for flipping

For set of PowerPoint slides that show what happens when meaningful learning is replaced by rote learning:  click values and principles for flipping

Where the two models presented in the slides attached are in simultaneous operation within a department, the students will probably opt for the line of least resistance and strategically opt to focus on the lower order thinking skills that are rewarded by rote learning. Students are therefore less well prepared for study in the following year (where understanding of previous modules will be assumed), or indeed for professional practice where students have to apply theory to practice in novel situations. So, if the underlying values of the curriculum are not explicitly shared across a faculty, there is a danger of the environment exhibiting pedagogic frailty and the typical outcome will be a retreat into conservative and ‘safe’ pedagogic practices. Where this happens, the energy expended on developing a flipped classroom will have been wasted.

Values should be the starting point for the development of the flipped classroom, not content or technology.