Library:Building Your Academic Profile/Player

From UBC Wiki

Become a Player

Even collaborative research projects can be isolating, so it's important to take the time to meet and communicate with others in your field. Attending conferences and webinars can be a good way of interacting with scholars outside of your colleagues and classmates.

Community Engagement

Subject Listservs

Many subjects still depend on subject listservs to circulate important news, ask informal research questions, and even notify users about upcoming webinars, conferences, and job postings. Subject-based listservs can be an extremely invaluable way to engage with researchers in your specific area of research. Ask your graduate advisor or subject liaison librarian if there is an important listserv for your area of research.

e.g. H-net has many subject listservs for Humanities scholars

Call for Papers

A "Call for Papers" is a method used by publishers to collect articles, conference presentations, and book chapters for potential publication. The call will specify whether you should submit an abstract or a full article/paper/chapter which will then be reviewed for publication. Calls for papers come from a variety of sources, including publisher and association websites, in addition to the resources listed below.

Humanities and Social Sciences Net - Online

  • An international consortium of scholars and teachers, H-Net creates and coordinates Internet networks with the common objective of advancing teaching and research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.


  • Search thousands of Calls For Papers in science and technology fields.


  • Conference organizers use Twitter to promote their events and to solicit presentations - especially if submission deadlines are extended. For some examples, see #callforpapers.

Professional Associations

If you want to stay current with affairs in your field of study, you may want to join a professional association. Academic associations come together to organize ethics and standards in a field of research and lobby governmental bodies on behalf of their members. Membership often has privileges including job notice services, e-mail listservs, training, conferences, and sometimes even funding and scholarships. It is common practice to list membership in professional associations on your academic CV. Many offer deeply discounted membership rates for graduate students. If you want to find professional associations in your area of study, ask your academic advisor or consult one of the library research guides.


The internet has made it easy to participate in scholarly activities in our discipline that formerly required a lot of money and travel. Professional associations and groups now often stream training sessions online to reach more users. Webinars can be free, restricted to members of association, or even cost money. The best way to discover webinars in your area is to join a professional association.


Attending and presenting at conferences is important for networking with the larger academic community. For many young scholars, speaking at a conference can be an informal way to get some feedback about your research prior to publication. Make sure to bring a pen to write down ideas that come up after your presentation.

Conferences have proliferated in the last two decades, so it is important to think about attending conferences that will maximize your own investment. Some factors to consider include:

  • Will attendance be widespread at the provincial, national or disciplinary level?
  • For small conferences, is the subject directly related to my research providing networking with high-profile experts?
  • Will the conference proceedings be published? This can be an excellent first publication for a new academic

It is important to know the differences that exist between conference proceedings and journal articles. The most important considerations should be that conferences proceedings are rarely peer-reviewed and that journals rarely want to publish material that's been published elsewhere.

Services for Conference Discovery

Peer Review

Traditional opportunities for peer review will come from your own publishing and collaborating with faculty, as well as through direct contact with editors and editorial boards. Some peer review opportunities can come through engaging in the development and support of graduate student journals (e.g. Graduate Student Journal of Psychology or Journal of Integrated Studies). Additionally, journal editorial boards may develop student editor positions (e.g. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology).

New forms of peer review that involve publication of research prior to completing the final manuscript are becoming more viable. This opens the door to new forms of peer review opportunities for emerging scholars and the public. Online commenting has become a form of peer review for scholars, however online spaces are emerging for scholars to share their pre-published work with peers within the field.

Wordpress Plugins for Open Peer Review


A WordPress plugin for simple book publishing. This tool makes it easy for authors and editorial teams to generate clean, well-formatted books in multiple outputs right within the blogging platform. It generates ePub, print-ready PDF, InDesign-ready XML, and HTML.


A WordPress plugin that allows you to use the blogging platform to create, edit and publish a book. Grab posts from your WordPress blog, import feeds from external sites, or create new content directly within Anthologize. Then outline, order, and edit your work, crafting it into a single volume for export in several formats, including—in this release—PDF, ePUB, TEI.


Commentpress is an open source theme and plugin for WordPress that allows readers to comment paragraph by paragraph in the margins of a text. It can be applied to a fixed document (paper/essay/book etc.) or to a running blog. Commentpress is used for History Working Papers.

Examples of Pre and Post Open Peer Review

History Working Papers

HWPP is an online space for scholars to share works-in-progress with their peers. After uploading a conference paper, essay, or article manuscript to the HWPP website, authors can invite others to read their work and make comments in the margins. As more people respond, writers get more feedback. But, unlike traditional comments done on paper, HWPP allows commenters and authors to interact with each other. They can read each other’s marginalia and engage in dialogue about it. In fact, entire threaded discussions can take place in the margins.

Paper Critic

Powered by Mendeley API, Paper Critic offers scholars an opportunity to obtain and track feedback on post-published scientific sources. It also offers the opportunity to continue the dialogue on post-published sources through commenting and rating.

This is a review platform for a growing number of European history journals with a strong open access mandate. Papers are posted by participating journals either as pre- or post-print copies. User comments enable a continuous review process to occur.

To find more open peer review opportunities, contact your subject liaison librarian.