Publish people, publish!

Nik Nikolic is a CMHP credentialed member and Lead Pharmacist in the Early Intervention In Psychosis Service at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He encourages colleagues to publish their work in this enthusiastic blog post which is he has written for us.

Not the most exciting, but can be rewarding!

The boss will often tell you “ ... go on, publish what you do…” like it’s the most hassle free thing to do. And then there’s that whole thing of what, how, when, why, not to mention the length of time the whole process takes. For me, it was really when my post grad tutor (a lady with an incredibly open mind, an overall multipotentialite, with a gazillion things on the go) said that we all ought to be thinking about publishing work. I thought to myself: How hard can this actually be?!?

I really enjoy writing, creative as well as academic. And actually I really enjoy thinking about research methodology and design, and just different projects and ways of being creative and innovative. I guess I love having different things on the go. I also really enjoy reading other people’s work, especially when it’s in the making, through the peer review process.  But, I feel that, I am most definitely not that person who will butcher a piece of someone’s work, you know the type “they haven’t done this, they haven’t considered this, n=1… ”. They themselves are of course “experts”. Have your opinion, by all means, but research ain’t easy, fact.

When I first thought about publishing I literally said to my boss at the time: I want to do a research paper. And because he’s a complete doer and a go-getter, he thought of something and just plonked me into it. Then we were a bit lucky, got some money, and a research analyst and it just happened. The paper was there. I took it upon myself to publish it and thought, well if others can do it, why can’t we. A bit of blag, luck and swag, and we had a poster at an international conference and an actual publication in a decent journal. Then there was another and another. And now, I feel like all I ever think about is how to get something published. I work with and have worked with some really amazing individuals and teams, pharmacists, nurses, consultant psychiatrists, trainees and I feel that we really all owe it to each other and the service users. Practice changes because people try new things, and then tell others about how to do it. So you can imagine how chuffed I was when the author I cited, originally on the back of some random idea that was not even mine, sent me an email to see my now fully published paper inspired by him.

These are my top tips:

  1. Speak to your boss/ service manager/ clinical lead about what you want to do
  2. See if you can get some money from someone because if you don’t, you have to do this probably in your own time, through your lunch or on the weekend
  3. Do the work, no matter how long this takes. You will get bored, want to quit, not bother and the rest of it, but persevere.
  4. Ask your peers to read your work, and comment. My people have always been too nice despite me asking them to be mean and rude and butcher what I give them. So be prepared for that because often times you are so engrossed in your own work that you develop tunnel vision.
  5. See where do the big shots publish their work, and then aim for these, and no less. Be bold.
  6. Perceiver a bit more, because if the editor decides to accept your paper for review, it’s only just about to start, and then go on and on and on for months. You will even forget it is going on and then suddenly they will ping you with a deadline for your amendments.
  7. Be positive, you will publish your work. People have done it before you, you will do it now and again.
  8. Plan another project, and start all over again!

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