Friday, September 09, 2005

light at the end of the tunnel?

I'm hard at work on my manuscript (actually I'm posting to my blog right now, but you know what I mean). In a few more days I should have all the figures done, 99% of the text drafted, and maybe even one round of self-inflicted revisions done. In other words, I'll be ready to hand it to my advisor. And at that point the waiting game begins. My advisor of course will be busy with other things (understandably), so I know it will take at least a couple of weeks to get comments from him. And then a couple of days for me to deal with those comments. After that, I've got to send it out to the third author and maybe get one of my committee members to look at it. Then, I'll have to deal with all of their comments. At that point, maybe with a few more iterations, I'll be ready to submit it to the journal. Then the real waiting begins. After the paper is submitted, it goes out to anonymous reviewers who immediately put it at the bottom of their to-do lists, so it gets buried under a stack of papers for months, until an editor decides to prod them on it, at which point it takes another month or two to get the reviews back. Then I'll likely have major revisions to do (no paper gets by without them). After all that, I'll finally get the paper accepted by the journal, and will only have to wait for them to publish it. Which means that if all goes well, my paper will be out a little over a year from now. At least in the meantime, I'll have two more manuscripts to write, for a which a similar process will have to occur.

Knowing this process is ahead of me makes all the more frustrating the fact that I am now seeing job ads that look enticing for the next academic year. And I know that it will be nearly impossible to get a job without getting publications out. And those deadlines are increasing with more rapidity than I would like. Ideally, my first paper will be at least submitted by the deadline for those jobs, but that'll only happen if the winds are blowing in my favor all the way. So for now, all I can do is work my ass off to get data analyzed and the papers written. Which is what I am going back to, right now.

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