Hacking the Code of Publishing


This course aims at improving participants’ academic writing skills, and help them to publish papers at leading journals. The course is an intensive one-week course, where participants are expected to focus exclusively on this course. Participants are expected to submit a piece of writing before the start of the seminar. This can be a draft of a conference paper or a draft of a regular paper. During the course, you will be invited to revise the written piece after each day. At the end of the course, the initially submitted piece of writing should be revised substantially and should be re-submitted to the professor. Participants should also actively take part in the discussions.

(1) At the end of this course, participants know how to craft high quality papers.

(2) Participants know the principles of good academic writing, and recognize these principles. 

(3) Participants improve their own writing and editing. 

(4) Participants understand the publishing process, including research ethics issues that can arise in its course.

(5) Participants understand how scholarly impact is created and measured, and can apply this knowledge to increase their own impact.

(6) Participants get an understanding why many papers get rejected.


Macro principles of good writing and publishing (Day 1)

  • What makes a paper a good paper; why do some paper get published and others not
  • Topic selection 
  • Writing as a contribution to scholarly discourse: Finding your conversation, finding a story to tell
  • Structuring a paper: Different options and when they are appropriate.
  • Creating tension
  • Knowing the key ingredients for each section of a paper: what has go into an introduction, a literature review, etc., and where exactly should it be located. 
  • Good sections, good paragraphing (pyramid principle, topic sentences etc.)

Micro principles of good writing (Day 2)

  • Rules for building strong sentences, cohesion among sentences (e.g., relating to action characters, strong verbs, 2-3-1, pargraphing, creating overlap, from known to unknown, concision)
  • Choice of tense and mode to fit section of the paper and the content, choice of words that send the right “signals”, etc.
  • Conducting your writing project: Strategies for productive writing and editing

Writing to be read (Day 3):

  • Writing to get published in leading academic journals
  • Writing strategies
  • Surviving the review process 
  • Measuring and managing your impact as a scholar
  • Ethics of writing and publishing


Writing assignments, active participation in discussions, attendance.


Recommended readings:

Bem, Daryl J. (2000), "Writing an empirical article." Guide to Publishing in Psychology Journals: 3-16.

Grant, Adam M., and Timothy G. Pollock (2011), "Publishing in AMJ—Part 3: Setting the hook." Academy of Management Journal, 54.5:873-879.

McCloskey, Donald (1985), "Economical writing." Economic Inquiry 23.2: 187-222.

Pinker, Steven (2014). The source of bad writing. The Wall Street Journal.

Pollock, Timothy G., and Joyce E. Bono (2013), "Being Scheherazade: The importance of storytelling in academic writing." Academy of Management Journal, 56.3:629-634.

Rynes, S. (2002) "Some reflections on contribution." Academy of Management Journal 45.2: 311-313. cmsdev.aom.org/uploadedFiles/Publications/AMJ/rynes.2002.pdf

Shaw, Jason D. (2012) "Responding to reviewers." Academy of Management journal, 1261-1263.

Additional info


First writing experience (in English). Please note that attendance is expected on all three days. 


The timetable for this course can be found here.

ERIM PhD candidates can register for this course via Osiris Student.

External (non-ERIM) participants are welcome to this course. To register, please fill in the registration form and e-mail it to the ERIM Doctoral Office by four weeks prior to the start of the course. For external participants, the course fee is 260 euro (1 ECTS).

Please note that the number of places for this course is limited. In case the number of registrations exceeds the number of available seats, priority is given to ERIM PhD candidates.