Workshop 1: 'Team Writing: Rejection, Inspiration and Success' by Professor Paul Gibbs

Session report by Tarek Zoubir (Academic Developer, CAPE)

To read the abstract that was submitted prior to the conference please click here.

Professor Paul Gibbs, who is widely published and a Series Editor of SpringerBriefs on Key Thinkers in Education and Debating Higher Education and Praxis in Education with Bloomsbury Press, shared his insights on collaborative writing opportunities and challenges. Two key tips given were that there should be trust between collaborators and that egos should always be left at the door.

A case study of a recent collaborative publication ( that involved senior and junior academics along with colleagues from professional services at Middlesex University was shared with delegates.  In the described case study the following collaborative writing process was adopted:
  1. Interest judging meeting
  2. Establishment of a common goal, trust and leadership
  3. Setting of objectives
  4. Decisions on writing and synthesis processes
  5. Reviews and critiques
  6. Dealings with the publisher and reviewer 
During the workshop participants also interrogated the editorial supply chain and journal management structure. Professor Paul Gibbs promoted quality writing as the best way to manage this structure but also emphasised the importance of building relationships with editors through reciprocal activity such as peer review. This activity, it was explained, is central to the academic community and offers the reviewer deeper insights of publication processes.

The session ended with an enjoyable activity were participants put forward catchy titles for journal articles, some examples included: ‘What price? Happiness in HE’; ‘Learning and unlearning for student satisfaction’; ‘Where’s the learner in teaching excellence’.