Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dear Academia: Plz Stop Publishing Things. Kthnxbai.

I'm trying to keep up the momentum and move right back into my next item on the to-do list, which is to pick yet another journal for the article I am now calling the Abandoned Foundling:

I made the mistake of deciding I should actually read some of the articles in my next selected journal so I can tailor the Foundling to the fashions of this latest charity hospital ---

Arrrrrgh! Don't make me poke out my eyes! Seriously, how much crap has been published since I last did a casting about for a suitable journal??? Eeeeee! People, stop this, this ... publishing of things. I need to catch up, and there are the huge backlogs of the two journals I actually subscribe to on my table over there, and this means I should be following along in a whole bunch of other journals that are directly or tangentially related to my fields, and interdisciplinary related fields, and arrrrrgh! (pant, pant, pant.)

I feel so overwhelmed now. I think I'm going to go eat ice cream, since you could say that by picking a journal and downloading the last two year's worth of articles for me to look at and "match" my stuff to, I have done enough work for today. And I need some restorative consumables to help me recover from this horrible shock ---- I think I am having the palpitations! Or maybe those are the procrastinations. Eh.

And by the way --- does anybody else think Alice there looks like an anime character?


Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about the publishing of things--it's like if you look away for a second, you get behind. Arrrrrrgh! Down the rabbit hole indeed! (And good point about anime Alice.)

medieval woman said...

Totally anime.

And you should only glance through the most recent 3 articles in the journal, I think! Just to get a sense of format and breadth of analysis - other than that, stick to articles close to your topic!

Eat ice cream and breathe deeply its succor...

Horace said...

One thing I've done to help with the backlog is to go to Project MUSE and subscribe to the RSS feeds on journals I like. That way, I'll check out a journal and its offerings--often just skimming titles, and occasionally popping open an interesting article here and there. That way, reading the occasional journal article is integrated into my leisure reading online...

Dr. Crazy said...

What Horace said. But also:

Look, does the journal seem right to you for the article? If so, send it out as is. If there needs to be tweaking, but the article is ready and is a good fit, you'll get a revise and resubmit, along with feedback telling you how to tweak. Do not read everything published in every journal carefully before you send stuff off. Be lazy! Reading all of that stuff is not going to make your article a different article! Have faith in your vision!

(This may indicate the laziness of my own practices when I send things out. That said, I do believe that your instincts about whether an article is a good fit usually do steer you in the right direction.)

Rohan Maitzen said...

FWIW, I agree that there is a point of seriously diminishing returns when you try too hard to find a "fit" for a piece. And individual readers are quite idiosyncratic, so if you are at least confident it is along the lines of what appears in the journal in question, you might as well wait for the 'r&r' report before doing many more revisions.

People, stop this, this ... publishing of things.

I hear you. I'm teaching an all-George Eliot seminar next winter and as it has been a few years since I last did this, I figure I'd better get "caught up," but even a quick skim through the last five years of GE stuff on the MLA Bibl. nearly wore me out. Not that it's no good, it's just that there's so much, and so much of it is so specialized, that it's hard to see how or whether to use any given piece.

And here we all are, contributing more ourselves.

Bavardess said...

I feel your pain. I am also easily distracted, so reading recent articles on my topic or closely related topics often segues into reading lots of really interesting articles that really have nothing whatever to do with my topic.
And yes, Alice has those freaky huge anime eyes!

Susan said...

I have long suggested a publishing hiatus of a few years so I could catch up. Please?