Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Where is My Manuscript?

In late 2005, I had a manuscript accepted in a publication of a rather large New York State based publisher of paperback sized library journals. The manuscript went through all the standard review processes. I had no issues or concerns with the communications with or the time it took the editor to process the manuscript. I was informed that the journal would be published in the Summer of 2006.

That time came and went.

Wondering what happened, I looked at the publishers web site. I noticed the issue was pushed out until early 2007. No big deal to me since, for promotion and tenure purposes, having a manuscript accepted for publication is (almost) as good as being published - quality indicators aside.

Once again, that time came and went.

I went back to the publishers site, which now indicated that the issue would not be out until August 2007. The site also revealed that issue 4 was scheduled to be published before my issue (1/2). An email to the editor revealed that even they didn't know what was going on with the publisher. The manuscripts were delivered on time - years ago.

This is the second time something weird has happened to a manuscript with this publisher.

In the earlier case, my manuscript was accept by an editor and scheduled for publication. When the publication time came and went I found out that the editor changed. I contacted the new editor and was informed it was still in process and a new volume/issue was provided. When that time came and went I found out that there was yet another editor. The new editor would never return my attempts to contact them. This process took two years. The manuscript was hopelessly outdated.

If it were not for this antiquated notion that only pre-publication peer-reviewed print publications hold any value as scholarly communication for promotion and tenure purposes I wouldn't even bother publishing in print.

Blogging supports all the reasons one publishes; to communicate ideas and research, impact on profession, personal and organizational reputation. Blogging allows one to communicate ideas and receive immediate feedback. It allows one to flush out ideas. While one could argue that comments and others blog postings based on a single post are indeed peer review, blogging is problematic for promotion and tenure primarily since there is no pre-publication peer-review..

Anyone out there have a credible blogmetrics algorithm? Sphere: Related Content


waltc said...


I have no answer for your question (but would love to see one). But your post will certainly play into the essay I'm working on...regarding the relative importance of blogs and other gray literature in today's library landscape. That essay will, of course, appear in gray literature (C&I) with no more than 4 weeks lead time. And will have no pre-pub peer review...

Eric Schnell said...

Can't wait to read it, Walt.

Librarians should be the pushing the envelope on the scholarly publishing paradigm, but it shouldn't suprise anyone that we aren't.

scottg said...

Don't get me started about this particular publisher. I've had one or two things published in their titles over the years (can't recall right now in how timely a manner, but that's beside my point). It doesn't take an English major (which I was) to know how utterly abysmal their copyediting has been over the years. I was sorely disappointed, and haven't picked up one of their titles since. I can only hope that it's gotten much better by now.