In no particular order...
The title ("There and Back Again") was a reference to Tolkien. I had no idea I shared Tolkien fandom with Teri. I just loved this a component of her title. (More on titles below.)
Teri framed the entire talk around her own interests, research, and career. A lot of what she had to say resonated with most in the audience, I think, as she talked about personal interests related to health being a major factor in her interest in health communication research. I fell into health communication as an interest area by accident - Pam Whitten hired me as a grad student at MSU to work on her projects, and I fell in love with health communication through working with her.
She talked about influential others, including journal editors, publishers, senior scholars, and graduate students. One point she made, which I totally agreed with, is how as faculty the interests of our graduate students shape our own work. I work with a lot of talented doctoral students, and their research interests have changed how I think about my own work and the research questions I want to pursue.
When talking about revising articles for journals, she hit on two things that many might think about but (1) it never hurts to be reminded and (2) sometimes we're probably better at in theory than in practice. First, she explained that the response to reviewers document is every bit as important as the revisions themselves; and be careful not to offend the reviewers while writing in that document! Second, you can't be defensive in responding to reviewer comments; she put it as "cry and then move on."
Teri made a great point about methodological and statistical sophistication, but pointed out that it's more important to use APPROPRIATE (her caps!) methods and stats.
She spent some time talking about how to title articles to get cited. Among her tips:
- Don't use esoteric terms
- Look at the key terms used by highly successful scholars
- Remember that those outside the field use terms like "communication" when searching for relevant literature
As an editor, she advocates looking at reviewing as mentoring/nurturing. The idea shouldn't be to just sort articles into "good" and "bad," but to help authors produce better work. Don't reject articles for reasons that aren't fatal flaws. Be constructive in your comments. Scholarship is a community effort, so reviewing and giving back to the field is an important part of being a successful and respected scholar.
Teri's entire visit was fantastic, as she took the time to meet with graduate students and faculty before giving her talk in the afternoon. The more I work with Teri, the more I learn from her - as an author, reviewer, and editor. As a field, health communication scholars couldn't ask for a better person to lead a journal like Health Communication.