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Thanks to Editage and Medlist International for practical help and advice.

Effective writing and publishing depends on effective negotiation between researchers, editors, translators, publishers, and others.

Many kinds of negotiation are needed. We all need to negotiate!

The starting point of any negotiation is of course a greeting - in person or by phone call, post, or by email. Always think carefully about the particular person you are speaking to, or writing to - they may be just as busy as you are.

If your greeting is hurried, impatient, or indifferent, the person you are trying to contact is unlikely to respond, even if the offer or request is perfectly reasonable. Our website and the diverse membership of our network gives you many ways of making contact with others, with initial greetings and more detailed messages. 

Do not be shy about contacting others, but make your greetings sincere, and your messages as clear or meaningful as possible. Some people enjoy negotiation, others do not, but regardless of our personal preferences, negotiation cannot be ignored if we want to be effective in our work.

We never know what opportunities may arise, if we are respectful and considerate in our correspondence, and make a conscious effort to write in a way that is interesting for others, even if they cannot help us, or even if we cannot help them.

In the notes below (highlighted links), I introduce some of the difficult issues we often face as researchers, writers, editors, translators, and publishers.

The first note offers two extreme scenarios of what can happen if an author fails to follow the usual steps required, and what can happen if they do follow the usual steps:

       The life and death of writing

It always surprises me when authors fail to acknowledge the help they have received when preparing a journal article or other research paper.

This is probably because not all publishers clearly ask authors to provide acknowledgements, and some authors may have a mistaken belief that acknowledging help weakens their academic status..

My own view is that we should be as generous in our acknowledgements as the publisher will allow. This will lead to better relationships with the interpreters, assistants, students, colleagues, editors and others who help us in our research and publishing efforts.

       Acknowledging sources and help

Negotiation is also at the heart of:

       Building trust and working relationships

Negotiating money and payment methods can create a lot of worry for all parties involved. It is best to investigate the usual methods of price calculation and payment (or gift-giving) in your geographical area, institution, and discipline before starting negotiations. For some more thoughts, see:

       Money and payments
See also: Work and working relationships, or main index

Last updated by Peter J. Matthews Jul 23, 2010.

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