Paper 1: A long-languishing paper now R&R at the top association journal. I asked a graduate student to help me revise it by updating data and finding recent sources. He did a great job. I reran the analysis and rewrote the theory section. Because of the new data, the results in the paper are much more presentable than the initial 2009 version of the paper. It took 9 months to get the R&R and the referees are not universally happy but two recommend accept and one R&R. The most positive report calls the paper “important and timely.” The relatively negative report disagrees with the methodology but ultimately admits the paper is worth pursuing. We are currently revising it to satisfy the referees. The changes are mostly minor but the memos to referees are taking some time to draft. I am especially happy with the timing as my co-author graduate student is newly ABD and this will help his job prospects.

Paper 2: This paper uses new data in an under-theorized area and the review process has been frustrating. It was reviewed by two top 5 journals only to be rejected (not a surprise) and for the most part the referee reports were helpful. Our measurement, modeling, and analyses were not questioned in any major way by the referees or editors. Our theory, however, is admittedly underdeveloped. A third journal, not in the top 5, decided to not even review the paper. The rationale from the editor was focused on measurement and modeling. We then sent it to another top journal in an interdisciplinary field and received strong reviews and an R&R with favorable language from the editor. We are a few days away from resubmitting the manuscript.

Book 1: I had hoped to submit the final draft before Halloween, but other projects became priorities (the two papers above were given R&R deadlines by the editors). The book will be submitted for production sometime after the semester ends. The book itself has been difficult to maintain focus on because other projects are much more interesting and I’ve always suffered from the fetish of the new idea.

Other projects: Other papers and another book are still at various stages of completion and review. I also am editing a book with a colleague at another university. I am not working on these projects too much right now because I want to have the above projects completed lest I become distracted or spread too thin. The edited book and one more paper should be under review by the end of the year.

Advertisements

Anyone who has stumbled on this blog should realize I don’t really know how to blog. The postings and my twitter feed are mostly about relieving stress from my job. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great job, especially since I can work any 80 hours a week that I want to work.

I asked whether I could average one submitted manuscript a month in 2014. The answer is no, I was not able to maintain that pace. I will say, however, I am not at all disappointed. The challenge helped me prioritize my ongoing projects and bring several of them to fruition.

One of the papers, for example, was first drafted 9 years ago and received favorable reviews at conferences but I kept putting off revisions. I will detail the life and times of my ongoing projects in my next post, but I want to point out how the #12in12 challenge really helped me say no to a lot of service as well as invitations for new projects. For the first time in my career I put my scholarship before teaching and service and I made a clear, rank ordered list of tasks. The result was not #12in12; but I have newfound focus and clarity in my life…and not just regarding research. My teaching, service, and personal life have also benefited.

In forthcoming posts I’ll also detail how my teaching, service, and personal life has been enhanced by the change in how I approach my scholarship.

I am a little behind in my progress; not really surprising. In May I received one rejection although the referee and editor comments are very useful. It won’t take much to revise it and send it elsewhere.

One paper took over 90 days to move from internal to external review. I hope the external review time is shorter than the internal review time.

Another paper I thought I would wrap up in May won’t be submitted until early June. This paper is co-authored and we’re still debating where to send the paper. When this is submitted and the recent rejection revised and sent elsewhere my running tally will be:

submitted: 6

rejected: 2

pending: 3

R&R: 1

accepted: 0

Remember this tally may include the same manuscripts multiple times (the book is only included as a single submission)

I did ink a book contract but don’t want to count it as accepted until it is in production. Instead I’ve listed it as R&R. It still needs another round of external reviews before production.

Once I get the co-authored paper under review and the recently rejected paper under review (hopefully in the next week) I’ll turn to a long-languishing paper.

One benefit (bane?) of tenure is I can target better journals even if I get rejected as time is no longer my enemy. This skews my tally in a way that makes my success rate lower.

I’ve delayed in updating my progress mainly because I have been swamped with travel, conferences, and plotting against my nemesis.

In March I submitted one paper to a top subfield journal (top at least in terms of impact factor). As of today it still shows “under internal review.” This is frustrating as I had hoped to at least receive useful input from reviewers.

Also in March I received word that the book prospectus was well received. The publisher sent four referee reports, each positive. I returned the revised prospectus this week and all signs point to contract.

I am a few hours away from resubmitting the paper that was desk rejected in January. The editor asked us to revise it as a research note and resubmit and s/he will send it out for review.  Assuming I get this submitted my tally is:

  • submitted: 5
  • rejected: 1
  • pending: 4
  • R&R: 0
  • accepted: 0

If the book contract comes through my summer might become complicated and it may be difficult to keep the #12in12 pace. I do have two more manuscripts next in line for submission so I should have at least one of those done and submitted in May.

With the semester winding down I will update my progress more regularly.

In January I had two submissions. The first is a book proposal; the second was (note past tense) a manuscript to a top 5 journal. The book proposal is out for review by at least one publisher. The other manuscript received the kindest desk reject ever.

Tally thus far then is BMS1 (book ms. #1) is out for review and AMS1 (article ms. #1) is rejected. The editor’s comments on AMS1 provided clear guidance on improving the paper. The amount of detail was, frankly, staggering. Part of the reason I am late with this monthly update is I’ve been working on incorporating the suggestions and preparing AMS1 to submit. AMS1 is almost ready and I expect to submit it to another top 5 journal in February.

I also have AMS2 almost ready to go; probably to a good, specialized, journal. My goal is to have AMS1 and AMS2 out by the end of the month.

  • submitted: 2
  • rejected: 1
  • pending: 1
  • R&R: 0
  • accepted: 0

In a moment of misguided optimism, I’ve challenged myself to average a submission per month in 2014. Part of my motivation for the simple fact I’ve allowed several projects to languish in 2013 by being distracted by internal politics in my department and larger university community. I also spent time in 2013 seeking external funding as well as testing the job market waters.

Ideally, I intend the 12 to be discrete, original submissions but I will use re-submission of rejected pieces as I assume my optimism exceeds my ability to produce new submissions. I will update my blog monthly on progress and somewhat self-censored descriptions of my review experiences.

I admit I do have several manuscripts that are well-developed so please remember that I am not claiming to write 12 new items this year. Several of the manuscripts are co-authored which means my submission rate may be hindered or helped depending on their productivity. Two manuscripts I will submit this year are book projects.

In addition to quantity of submissions, I am going to challenge myself to aim for top journals. I’m tenured and therefore the time waisted getting rejected at top outlets is not a huge concern. For some of the co-authored manuscripts, however, my coauthors are graduate students and/or untenured so some compromise between aiming high and speed to fruition may be in order.

Even before I was tenured I admit to not aiming high (and this was commented on a lot by senior colleagues during my tenure and promotion vote). In part I think my lack of aiming high was grounded in me 1) being in a department that lacks any expectation of publishing in a top 10 journal and 2) habitual impostor syndrome.

To budget time for writing, I am making several changes to my schedule in 2014. I am not going to supervise any new graduate students. I have two graduate students almost finished so I will remain engaged with them. New request to chair thesis or dissertation committees will be deferred.

I am not going to teach summer school. Even without my #12in12 challenge I might have taken the summer off as the older I get the less marginal benefit of a few thousand extra dollars exceeds the loss of time.

I will complete current committee assignments but I am not taking on any new service commitments.

Lastly, I am going to turn-down every other request for a manuscript review.

Enough rambling for now; I have a manuscript to submit!

 

There are several very cogent posts on networking that all students and scholars should read and ruminate over. A recent post at Duck of Minerva sparked a heated reaction owing to the sexually charged language and, in my view, rather inane attempt to be cute.

Recent posts on networking I’ve learned from include

Christian Davenport’s The Promise of Human Contact (or, Why You Should Network Your Ass Off but Love It)

Steve Saideman’s Networking is Hard-Working

Daniel Nexon  Academic Conferences: From “Networking” to Forming and Nurturing Social Ties 

Erik Voeten’s  Sex and Networking at Academic Conferences 

Will Moore identifies some of the ways networking experiences are not uniform in Some Dimensions over which the Return to Networking is not Uniform

For sake of disclosure, I am not someone in a position to engage each and every point made by these fine scholars. My goal in this post is to offer some thoughts about networking when you are not in a place of privilege. How should you approach networking when you cannot rest on advisor or institutional prestige? There are many dimensions to power relations in networking. By academic periphery I am referring to those of us who teach at places not considered by most to be top tier departments. Networking is not just for students and scholars in the academic core. In fact a case can be made that networking is more important for those who do not have famous advisors or a degree from a top-ten program.

Before you decide which nuggets of advice you decide to take-away from other scholars, first ask yourself what does it mean to network? I don’t mean this as some vague, what color is your balloon sense. You need to answer this question in the context of who you are and what are your goals. Networking is a means to a goal you set for yourself. Many of us want feedback from others, often well connected famous others, on our work. Making a positive impression on others is part of your networking and can pay dividends even if you do not get immediate gratification. Participating in professional development is an iterated exercise and the connections you make and nurture at one professional meeting can grow at the next meeting.

Always remember this is a very small discipline. I am often surprised how willingly some people are to burn bridges or outright engage in offensive commentaries. People talk and how you treat others may will get around. Even offensive actions by those in your department with whom you have little contact can impact your career. Once when I was interviewing for a tenure-track job I was asked about a major scandal in my department. The scandal did not involve my advisor or me. I knew about the scandal, as my officemate was the hub of departmental gossip. But…I had not thought about it enough to form an opinion. Here I was with a group of people assessing my competence for a TT job and I was being asked my opinion on the scandal. I was prepared to answer questions about my teaching, research, and training but I did not prepare for gossip.

A second question to ask and answer for yourself is why are you networking? Networking should not be a means to meet your heroes and or obtaining confirmation of your own sense of self-worth. Moreover, it should not be something you do only for your own self-interest. Networking is your opportunity – no matter how junior or insignificant you may think you are – to help others.

Thought on networking outside of privileged position

1) Make your own name; if your department and or advisor are not capable of opening doors for you, you need to establish that you belong in the same social fabric as those you want to network with. How do you accomplish this? Obviously this is accomplished by being a knowledge-generator and publishing on the subject.

2) Be realistic; some doors will never open. It is rare that if, like me, you earned your degree from a department outside the top 40, that your networking will open all doors. Princeton will never call me and I am okay with that. There are many productive, smart, and pleasant people with degrees from the periphery.

3) Keep perspective: what kind of networking will help you most when you return home? Always remember that ultimately you have to go home and justify your existence to your advisor (for students) or your chair and dean (for TT folks).

4) Take action; networking requires you to follow-through after the professional meeting. If you are successful networking at APSA in 2013 do not wait until APSA in 2014 to reach out to the people you connected with.

5) Let the prestige snobs be damned; some people will always dismiss your pedigree, research record, and institutional affiliation. How others react to your efforts to engage them is not your problem. I’ve come to the conclusion that some of the people who look down on my subaltern degree would find fault even if my degree was from Harvard.

6) Don’t be that person; learn from people who treat you poorly. At ISA2013 when I was checking in to the hotel there was a famous scholar in front of me in the check-in line. She/he was all upset with the desk clerk because he/she did not receive a free upgrade. This scholar basically said “don’t you know who I am?” Networking should make you better, not drag you down to the level of those who only appreciate sycophants.