Monday, March 20, 2006

Don't fall behind

Tonight I popped over to look at the CVs of a couple young faculty members in my host department. Wow... I was initially floored by the sheer volume of publications and presentations. Then, I realized that while they are both likely around my same age, the first completed his PhD in 2000 (the year I began my doctoral program) and the second received her PhD in 1997. So, yeah, wow... but it's not out of reach.

I simply have to set myself some goals. Alright, I've been out of conferences for over a year. But I had been doing pretty well with them. I have given a few invited talks this year so far, have one more scheduled, and can probably finagle a couple more. So, I've got to massage the cogs... and I've got to prepare some abstracts for conferences.

Most importantly perhaps I've got to get moving on more publications. Still haven't heard anything back from the last journal (other than the initial acknowledgement). It's only been three weeks, though, so I can't read much into that. In any case, I have no control over it now. If it's returned with comments, then I can do something with it. But I've got some new ideas for smaller articles, and I've started working on them. I've really been a bit hesitant to submit articles. I think in some ways my attitude hasn't been that far from what the Academic Coach described as going Academic AWOL, only it's the longer I go without publishing a "big" article, the bigger the splash I think is required.

Instead, what I really need is to keep plugging away. I need to take full advantage of my situation right now. Time, I have. The energy, I need to muster. I need to set myself some concrete and ambitious but achievable goals for the coming months. Who knows, I may yet land myself a one-year post. But I've got to keep that three-year plan in mind. If I don't, I may slip... and I'm not sure I'd be able to recover from that.

1 comment:

Kingers said...

In my experience, it takes at least 3 months for a journal to make an editorial decision. This is because there is a process (which may vary on the discipline--I'll assume by the frequency and pitch of your angst that you're in humanities). First, it will be read in house and then a decision will be taken on whether to send it out to referees. How long this takes depends on the complexity of the in house editorial structure, the other responsibilities that may tug upon editors who also teach, the size of the journal, and the volume of submissions. If it is sent out (1 in 3 are) the referee is in charge, and most are dilatory to say the least; that means they take a long time to get round to reading you, and may do a bad job of it. Then the reports come back in and are read. Three options are then considered: 1) reject, 2) revise and resubmit, 3) publish as is. Option 2 is the norm for articles that are accepted. This adds whatever time you need to make revisions--this may vary in their extent, but most editors will simply pass on a paper they think is in need of more than light revision--and then of course you'll have to resubmit, which means it will go out to one or another of the original readers. In certain cases, very confident editors will make in house decisions themselves, without sending out to a referee. If it is sent back out, it will take less time than before, but plan on a month. Then they make a final decision and put it into production. Here, what matters is where your piece fits with what they've already published in previsous issues and what they wish to put in the next two or three. So, from soup to nuts, it can take a year.