Professional Journal Article

In our discussions about the requirements of professional journal articles, we have generated something of a continuum between professional journals look and have similar requirements to research journals and professional journals which adopt a more 'conversational', less formal style. The history of each journal is often a good indication of the waxing and waning of emphases and editorial or professional association interests.

There is an analogy that might help in thinking about the differences between professional knowledge and what is published in research journals and the role of professional journals. Kevin Kelly writes about the relationship in science between what might be labelled 'local knowledge' and the 'official stuff' that ends up in research journals. As he argues1:

We casually talk about the "discovery of America" in 1492 or the "discovery of gorillas" in 1856 or the "discovery of vaccines" in 1796. Yet vaccines, gorillas, and America were not unknown before their "discovery". Native peoples had been living in the Americas for 10,000 years before Columbus arrived, and they had explored the continent far better than any European ever could. Certain West African tribes were intimately familiar with the gorilla and many more primate species yet to be "discovered." Dairy farmers in Europe and cow herders in Africa had long been aware of the protective inoculative effect that related diseases offered, although they did not have a name for it. The same argument can be made about whole libraries' worth of knowledge—herbal wisdom, traditional practices, spiritual insights—that are "discovered" by the educated, but only after having been long known by native and folk peoples. (p. 335) … The reason science absorbs local knowledge and not the other way around is because science is a machine we have invented to connect information. It is built to integrate new knowledge with the web of the old. (p. 336)

So, we might think about the 'local knowledge' of teachers, students, principals and parents as they carry out the day-to-day work of schooling. Education research then looks to connect, order and structure this knowledge. I know this is an idealistic account, as it for the sciences but as a rough way of thinking about the value and importance of Professional Journals it might be helpful. That is, the Professional Journal takes from the ordered, inter-connected knowledge in the research journals and tries to write it back for the use by the 'locals' in language they can follow and that articulates with the way they think about and talk about their work.

I've assembled a sampling of Professional Journals that you might find useful as a starting place for deciding where to target your article.

There is a lot of advice about writing for journals but a Pat Thompson post pretty much says it all.

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