Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Black Hole of Academic Writing

Since graduating, I have tried to be a good little post Ph.Der and send out academic articles for possible publication. The trade writer side of me is still not comfortable with all of this writing for no money, but I know this what I'm supposed to do. I write articles about boring stuff that no one really wants to read, it gets peer reviewed, and if anyone does decide to publish my boring article, I'm supposed be totally thrilled because I can add it to my CV. This whole process is supposed to validate me in the academic community. "See, folks, I've been published by Prestigious Journal X,Y,Z, so I'm super duper important."

So, okay, all of that I can live with. Even if I don't get paid and even if the average person would think my academic writing is a yawn-fest, I, at least, still enjoy the research and writing process. But what irks me about all of this is the black hole that my articles seem to enter. I've got 2, going on 3, articles floating around out there, and I have yet to hear boo from these prestigious journals. If it's crap, then tell me it's crap and be done with it, but to sit on my work for months, even close to a year for one article, is just (I think) outrageous.

Now, I have heard a few peeps here and there from them, but usually I hear back when I've totally forgotten about them in the first place, sometimes as long as 3 months or more. Then I'm thrown a crumb: "We are still working through the review process. Thank you for your patience."

For my third article, I sent out an abstract, and honestly, I'm to the point now that this will be my last attempt to publish any more academic articles until these three articles either pan out or fizzle. With the amount of time and energy I've spent on them, I could have published a book or two. If this is how academic publishing normally operates, it's amazing anything managed to get into print at all.

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