Thursday, August 24, 2006

Submitted, today

I clicked send. It was an article I had submitted a couple years ago to another journal [Field 1/subfield 1]. This time I submitted it to a [Field 1/subfield 2] journal, where perhaps it better fits. It's a short one, in stark contrast to my most recent 20,000+ words publication, under 5000 words this time. It's a theoretical paper, simple and direct, addressing some definitions of terms essential for clear methodological choices in the field.

The earlier submission had been the second one to this particular second-tier journal in my field. The first had been an exposition of a relatively new domain of research (which had been the subject of the panel I had organized in Belgium). It was rejected out of hand, which quite discouraged me. The second article had been submitted after a former professor of mine had taken over the helm as editor. He was polite, but thought it wasn't ripe enough to be published, and that possibly the fuller version might be more appropriate for certain other journals.

I can't say I have a high confidence level that the article will be accepted without major revisions, but I wanted to get something out there. Hopefully, I'll get some good feedback even if it is rejected. And, with a little luck, I'll get a "revise and resubmit" order, giving me some drive to move ahead.

There's always more to be done. I'm still coasting in neutral, wondering which way to turn, which path to tread. I feel like I'm almost capable of lurching in any number of directions, successfully landing on the best option. But that almost keeps staring me in the face.

And, on a somewhat unrelated subject: we still haven't fully decided to move. Last night, my wife and I began drafting a response to the offer from Rocket Central. We've largely settled on the tack that we should at least make it clear that the only way she could commit to being there for the long haul would be if I were to land some sort of a post to continue my work in [Field 1] & [Field 2] studies. They are affiliated with (administered by) a University. There must be options.

One thing I realized last night, in conversation with my wife, was the following scenario:
  • She accepts the offer at RC.
  • We move, accepting the relocation benefits, which require her to remain for at least a year.
  • I remain without strong or permanent affiliation, thus continue to actively pursue research and faculty opportunities.
  • I receive an offer for employment somewhere (either where she can also work, or because the post is so ideal I can't turn it down)
  • Then I'm left with either having to accept an offer, without the ability for my wife to pursue employment in the area at least until she'd fulfilled her promise, or being inclined to turn it down because of the difficulties it would present to our family life. Would I be able to accept a post under those circumstances, where I would either need to commute (possibly a great distance) for an uncertain period of time?
The point is, our main goal at the moment is to find a place to settle (at least for 3-5 years) where we can both pursue our careers. Further, one of the attractions of the possible move is the prospect of buying a house again. Yet the housing market in that area is still greatly inflated, and itching for a crash. If we bought, we'd have to buy low (meaning offers significantly below asking, and the likelihood of a long home search).

Such is the life of a family.


post-doc said...

I still agonize over journal choices because it's so discouraging to me to have papers rejected completely. So I'm wishing you more than a little luck with your submission.

What I adore about you - on a personal level - is how much you love and appreciate your family despite the difficulties inherent in professional development when you're attached to people you love. I whine a lot about being alone, but was tremendously grateful for it during my job search. But in terms of daily life? I envy your personal life.

I'm looking forward to hearing how things work out. I don't worry about talented, capable people, but I am eager to see what the next year holds for you.

Greg said...

Remember too that immediate rejection doesn't necessarily mean the paper is bad--it can mean the editor feels the journal's done too much on that topic, or the editor isn't into the topic, regardless of quality. The paper may need work, but mostly you just need to find the right place for it.

ArticulateDad said...

Thanks for your comments. Yes, Post-doc, there are (now) clear costs to being happily married with children. But I wouldn't trade them for the alternative. I recall several years ago, before the Painter was born, I asked Tasse Plein about having kids in grad school. He's a father of three, with a wife who's had a high-powered career in medical research. His reply was telling, but I wasn't particularly listening. The point was, I was already in my thirties and realized I could wait forever, until I finished classes, until I passed my comps, until I finished the dissertation, until I got a job, until I had tenure, and on. The best advice I can give to young scholars, live fast young, you'll have plenty of time to slow down.

Greg, I had thought of that. It's just getting up the nerve and the energy to send the papers around. The reason I set myself the seemingly-insane goal of submitting 4 papers this summer was because I easily have that many papers written, that I've never yet submitted. They need a little revision, but that's all. I realize it's good practice to write up every conference presentation or invited lecture as an article (at least if there are no published proceedings), and I just haven't done that. Got to start.