Don’t get too comfortable

Yesterday I posted triumphantly about my article that’s finally been published. Of course along with the joy of victory comes the agony of defeat. Another article that I wrote in the fall semester has been having a rough go of it. I sent the article to journal of country I study. After waiting 4 months of no response I contacted the editor responsible for my paper. He had not even looked at my submission (so for 4 months it just sat there). I had asked a friend about this editor, as my friend got hir PhD from the dept. this editor was in. My friend told me that this person was indeed scatterbrained. Sigh. So when the editor got back to me zie said that zie really liked my article, zie had drawn up a list of reviewers and would send it out. However, the journal also had a huge backlog and if the article was accepted would not come out for at least 2 years. In light of the four months I waited and the backlog and the scattered editor I opted to pull the paper and submit it elsewhere.

So I submit it to general, but not flagship disciplinary journal. The editor just got back to me yesterday (after about a month and a half) and told me that it could not go out for review. Their comments annoyed the hell out of me b/c it was evident that they had not read the article. Additionally, this editor does not work in my area or anywhere near it. I’m annoyed that they felt so comfortable in their power of judgement to deny me even a review. It’s as if they don’t even need the expert opinion of other scholars who have made their life’s work developing and contributing to the theoretical and area arguments I was making. It’s not really the critique that annoys, but rather even the lack of useful or productive critique that the editor offered along with the easy dismissal of my paper. Sigh. So now it’s back to the drawing board (kind of). I need to format the paper and submit it elsewhere. I think I’ve found a place.

This experience has only taught me about power. I have learned nothing that would improve my scholarship, make my arguments stronger, or expose gaps in my knowledge. I have learned that editors have a lot of power – power to ignore, power to dismiss, power to offer limited feedback that’s really exposes them to be ignorant and not me. And my opinion of them as editors really doesn’t matter because they will continue to have power to which I will continually have to submit.

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