Saturday, December 01, 2007

...or perish

Having a research article published is a laborious process. First of all you sweat blood writing the thing and sometimes sweat real sweat presenting it at a conference. Then you submit it to a reputable publication. And then you wait and wait and wait, usually a couple of months. Then the editor sends you the reviewers' comments. The more reviewers there are, the more impossible it becomes to meet their contradictory requests. One may want you to flesh out the theoretical section, another to reduce it, and another wants you to add a whole new section on a different version of the theory that has taken his fancy.

You don't believe me do you? Here are three little snippets to give you a tiny flavour of some conflicting feedback I received this week. Spot the odd one out.

Reviewer #1: This is a well-written and interesting paper that tantalizes and leaves one wanting more.

Reviewer #2 I did find the manuscript to be extremely well written and engaging and the premise logically crafted.

Reviewer #3 The piece is not particularly well written


Aaaaaaaaargghhhhhhhh.

4 comments:

Nancy McKeand said...

Unfortunately, I know what you mean. When it happened to me, the journal edited it for me. I was left at the end with a paper that wasn't mine and that I didn't particularly like.

spentrails said...

Aaagh, indeed. This sounds very much like my daily grind. I've found the trick of finding one "owner" really helps, although I'm not sure this would work outside the corporate world.

maitresse said...

Good luck! What's your field/subject?

Lesley said...

Thanks Maitresse (and thanks for the other comments too!). I try to split my research time up among two fields at the moment : Scottish Studies (mostly Stevenson and Scottish travel writing), and ESP or English for Specific Studies. In other words, I dabble.