Way back in the Fall Semester of 2010, I was contemplating  topic for my undergraduate thesis, a required component of my school’s Technical Communication degree. A mandatory part of the thesis was submitting the finished product to a scholarly journal for publication. I decided at the time that I would aim high and try to publish my thesis in Technical Communication, the peer-reviewed journal published by the Society for Technical Communication. It was almost a throwaway idea; I didn’t think that a professional journal would be interested in undergraduate research.

Well, I guess I was wrong. My original research article, “The Use of Online Collaborative Writing Tools by Technical Communication Practitioners and Students,” has now been published in issue 60.1 of Technical CommunicationI am very proud and humbled to think that my research and my writing were considered a worthy contribution to the field’s body of work. (Note that only STC members or subscribers to the journal will be able to read the article online.)


Technical Communication issue 60.1, February, 2013. My article is that first bullet point!

It is also valuable self-validation at a time when I’m feeling hard on myself. The job hunt has not been going well, and I’m starting to doubt my abilities. Having my work published could not have come at a better time for the sake of my self confidence.

Unfortunately, it seems academia matters little to industry hiring managers, so it won’t help me get a job. In fact, it didn’t help at my last interview. But, I can at least say that my writing skills are publication worthy and I have strong research skills.

All that aside, I’m still very excited. I poured so much work and heart into that article–even after I had graduated and gotten the grade on it! I’m so pleased to see it all come to fruition.

On a slightly humorous note: I’ve always been slightly disgruntled at the sheer wordiness of my article’s title. As it turns out, my article has the shortest title in the issue!

4 thoughts on “Published!

  1. Way to go, Jessica!

    While I can see that some employers might not value an academic publication very much, maybe there’s a way you can spin that into a more marketable skill. I haven’t read the article (I’m not an STC member), but from the title I would guess it means you know about how tech comm’ers can collaborate efficiently and you know which tools are used how or how frequently.

    And when you make that point in an interview, you can top it off by saying: “Oh, and by the way, the STC found that knowledge worth sharing in the community by publishing my research on it in the peer-reviewed journal!”

    So I think you’ll be able to use this happy occurrence not only for self-confidence, but also to get a talking point or two out of it!

    Best of luck, Kai.

    P.S. Hoping to see you in Atlanta for STC Summit, maybe…?

    • Thanks! I’ve been trying to think of ways to spin it to be useful in a job hunt–I’ll keep your suggestions in mind. Who knows? It could push me to the “hired” side of the tipping point some time.

      I don’t think I’ll be able to make it this year. Hopefully next year, though!

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