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Location: Kyoto and Auckland
Work interests: research, editing, ethnobotany, prehistory, plant genetics
Affiliation/website: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
Preferred contact method: Any
Preferred contact language(s): English, German
Contact: email = researchcooperative-at-gmail-dot-com
Favourite publications: Aroideana, Economic Botany, Farming Matters, PLoSOne

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Work: ethnobotany, plant ecology and genetics, human ecology, agricultural history, archaeology, museology
Affiliations: 1996-present: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka. 1995: Freelance editor, Kyoto. 1994: JSPS Research Visitor, Kyoto University, Kyoto. 1993: Research Visitor, Australian National University, Canberra. 1991: Visiting Researcher, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka.1990: STA Fellow, National Institute for Ornamental Plants, Vegetables, and Tea (NIVOT), Ano, Japan
Contact: National Museum of Ethnology, Senri Expo Park, Suita City, Osaka, Japan 565-8511
Biographical: Established the Research Cooperative in 2001
Favourite Publications: Economic Botany, Ethnobotany Research and Applications, New Scientist, Minpaku Anthropology Newsletter, Archaeology in Oceania

Writing but not publishing

2013-10-23
By: Research Cooperative
Posted in: Writing

I seem to do a lot of writing without actually publishing. Maybe it's because I'm a proactive editor and have a lot other people's writing to look at, as part of my research job.

For the last couple of weeks, its been a race to prepare a grant application, distilling the essence from work over the last four years into a couple of pages. The results have been intoxicating for me, but for others it may look like nothing special.... just more data? It's hard to look objectively at our own writing.

I'm hoping the internal review by my employer will pick up problems before they reach the outside agency reviewers who have to assess the application. For the first time this year, in Japan, it has been possible to submit a research application entirely in English.

I'm a slow writer too. I like to accumulate enough new information to make rich paper, but often it is a mix of different kinds of information that have to be integrated. I tend to write first and then think about where to publish according to the nature of the work and the paper. I don't stick to one journal or publisher, or one format or style, and I like to reach diverse audiences.

What are my top ten favourite journals? That's hard to say, given the range of my interests. I'd like to ask other members of the Research Cooperative the same question. It would probably be hard for all of us. Maybe I should make it just the top three...

My favourite journal - top of the list - is probably the next one that publishes a paper I write... but only until the next paper is published in another journal.

I'm loyal to the idea of doing original research and writing, but not to any particular publisher. Which means I have to learn how to talk to different publishers and editors, and have to learn about different ways of writing. Not sticking to one publishing home is also a good way to keep learning new things about writing and publishing. I hope this helps to make my writing fresh for readers, each time.

I do eventually publish some of what I write. The many half-done, or almost-finished-but-not-published papers lurk in my office, and in my mind. Parts of them may later reappear in published work. Writing is thinking, not just a mechanical process of replicating and rearranging words and using up paper - or screen space.

My office is an incubator, and I can't really say what will be hatching soon. How could I? I'm inside the egg, and its all dark here. At least I do enjoy all the poking around, here and there, in my little world.

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