Writing for publication

Some promising news today from the assistant editor of a journal a colleague and I sent a jointly authored paper to last year. It’s taken a while for them to be sent, but we’ve now received peer review comments. They’re detailed and considered, and we’ve got work to do, but I’m optimistic the reviewers like our paper enough for it to make the cut (at some futue point) and get into print.

It would be tempting fate to say more at this juncture (like giving the identity of my esteemed collaborator, the name of the journal or what the paper is about), so I’ll resist. Suffice to say that the receipt of an editor’s email with an update on a submitted manuscript is always a moment of excitement and anxiety, in equal measure. It’s a big deal getting something into press in this job, and invitations to revise and resubmit (or even better, correspondence indicating that a journal will accept something ‘as is’) are always welcome.

Of course, editors also say ‘no thanks’, and I can confirm that I’ve had my share of being on the receiving end of emails of this type. At this point thick-skinned tenacity is key. I’ll perhaps sulk a little and protest to loved ones, friends and colleagues, but then I have to get on with it and do what’s necessary before offering my article to a new journal. I once had to submit versions of a paper to something like five journals, one after another, before one was willing to accept it. It was either ‘too social science-y’, or not ‘social science-y’ enough, depending on where I sent it.


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