I have an opportunity to write a chapter for an IGI Global publication. Are they legit, or is it akin to "Who's Who?"
Totally legit; IGI has a number of quality texts.
I know their book are sometimes VERY expensive and I do not think they furnish chapter authors with a complimentary copy (that's anecdotal; you may want to ask about that). From my experience, IGI is not as highly representative of work by people that I know in Ed Tech / Instr. Design as books published by Springer, Routledge, and Sage - but I would still say that who and what IGI publishes is still well received.
Example: Dr. Patricia Young is one of the main editors of one of the most highly respected journals in our field, ETR&D. She is the author of this IGI text:
Boise State's Albertsons Library has a number of IGI Global books available in eBook format (including Dr. Young's text). http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/318584525
Note: Writing a chapter is great, but writing a peer-reviewed article for a well-received journal is generally more highly considered.
I have received copies of the books for each of the three or four book chapters that I have contributed to IGI edited books.
Having said that, I agree with your sentiment that for doctoral students and junior faculty members it would be much better to use that time for a peer reviewed article.
Don't have much to add to this discussion. IGI is legit. I have published a few book chapters with them. I think all of their book chapters are peer reviewed too which is nice and they offer digital versions that are indexed (which isn't the case with all publishers) but they seemed to have flooded the market (e.g., seems like 8 out 10 edited books these days in our field are published by IGI) and their books are crazy expensive. I thought they used to only give a free hard copy to the first author but that could have changed or I could be simply remembering incorrectly. I agree that writing peer reviewed articles is often a better way to go but some theory or practice pieces that might not get accepted by a journal will get accepted as a book chapter and edited books often have deadlines which can force one to write and produce something.
What is the best way to get started on writing a peer reviewed article? Is there a guideline to follow that will help a first timer?
Great question, JoeBod. I would also be interested in finding out where to begin.
Great question. There are many ways to do this but arguably the easiest is to work with a faculty member and co-author a piece together (I will talk more about how you do that below).
With that in mind, I would start by saying that there are two main types of journals: those that focus mostly on publishing empirical research vs. those that publish practitioner / opinion pieces (there are, of course, many journals that lie somewhere between these two ends of a continuum; and there are even other "journals" that are really even further past the practitioner end of the continuum that are more like "magazines" or "newsletters"... e.g., they might cite very little, if any, research).
Then each journal will publish different types of articles: empirical studies, literature reviews, theoretical / think pieces, reviews (e.g., book reviews, software reviews...).
Finally, while most journals peer review all submissions, some journals might simply have the editors review certain submissions (e.g., book review) and therefore in the end, not peer review all articles in the journal.
You should also consider the purpose of the journal and your manuscript. For instance, you might choose an open access journal (that is free to read) to publish a practitioner piece, if you want practitioners to actually read your piece.
So with this in mind, if you have something from work or even from one of your classes that you think is strong and that you want to publish, I would start by looking at journals where you think it might be a good fit. Read the directions on the website for authors; also, look at sample articles to see if what you have done or plan to do is similar. If you think you have found a good fit, you can either simply follow the instructions on the website on how to submit the manuscript (I highly recommend that you have a peer or two read the manuscript before you submit it) or email the editor of the journal and provide the abstract of the manuscript and ask if he/she thinks it would be a good fit before you submit it.
Another route is to share that manuscript (or work in progress... or even just an idea) with a faculty member and see if he/she would be interested in co-authoring it with you. Faculty are busy, often have a few of their own works in progress, and might have a specific area of focus that doesn't align with yours, so try not to take it personally if they aren't interested. I collaborated with a number of faculty during graduate school but on more than one occasion I shared an idea or manuscript with a faculty member in which he/she was clearly not interested (though they didn't quite say that directly). If you want to publish your work (which we highly recommend), you have to get used to rejection and shake it off and move on to the next opportunity (which might simply be contacting a different faculty member or finding a new project to possibly collaborate on or simply finding a new journal or edited book to submit your work to).
Another route is to reach out to faculty who are doing work you are interested in and see if they have any projects that they are looking for collaborators on. You might simply start off by writing a conference proposal together and then later collaborating more (e.g., writing up the final results for publication). Some faculty might be more hesitant to bring a student in on a project of their own without prior experience with the student or evidence that the student will be a strong collaborator. While faculty value collaboration and mentorship, they don't want to find themselves in a situation where they bring on collaborators who aren't pulling their weight. When you co-author something, authors often have some part of the manuscript that they are in charge of (e.g., writing the literature review or conducting and writing up the analysis...), so you should help faculty see what value you can bring to the project.
Finally another approach might be to find fellow students to collaborate on something together.
The call for proposals for AECT opens in December (I think the deadline is early Feb.). I recommend that you start by working on a conference proposal (either alone, with a fellow student, or with a faculty member). AECT accepts research, practitioner, and theoretical presentations. One of the added benefits of attending AECT is that you get to meet a number of faculty from our program when you attend the conference. There are even some limited funds you can apply for to help you attend if you are presenting with a faculty member. There were seven faculty at AECT this past week.
So what questions do you have? Other faculty might jump in and disagree with my advice, which is completely fine with me.