ICYMI: The Case for Colonialism

25-Sep-17, 10:11
edited about 4 minutes later
by Trilla
Avatar for Trilla
posted about 3 years ago
T&F has over seven hundred journals. People churn out pages and pages of scholarship that nobody reads. We need less journals, less articles, but written with more care and edited better.

The journal in question (of the case for colonialism) comes out 11 times per year – My hunch is that the editor is earning a 'wage-non-wage' through T&F from editing, having failed to gain any other paid academic positions. They are desperate for contributions and their standards are slipping. Fast.

That's why I am resisting pressure from the publishers to increase publication of my journal. Because if I was to come out more than twice a year I could not guarantee the quality which comes from reading drafts and drafts, and from a close relationship with authors and reviewers.Yes, I earn less money but my reputation is very important to me as it is what will get me (hopefully soon) a good academic job. But if this person has nothing at stake they will be careless - as they have been.

I really believe that by publishing this article they thought they had just "slipped something through the net", thinking it won't get noticed, but it did. (Oh, the irony!! It takes so much work to create impact for good scholarship and then look at the impact this article had - I do not remember any other articles being discussed in postgraduate forum..)

I know that many of you will be desperate to publish but please think carefully to which journal you submit...

Sorry this is a bit of a cynical post - I love my journal dearly and work very hard at it - but I am also very aware of how very 'wrong' academic publishing is, a business based on the desperation of authors to publish. Not a million miles away from vanity publishing, really.
25-Sep-17, 10:55
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From Trilla:
The truth is that academic publishing is a crooked business.

Taylor and Francis (informa.com, a multinational) does not pay editors (but gives a generous 'expense accounts' which is, de facto, a wage (in my case about £5,000 per printed issue) but then asks for more and more administrative hoops and loops to jumps through, so the job attracts either:
* people like me who are, for whatever reason, in between stages of their career (I am finishing my PhD after years in publishing and this is a good way for me to be active in the field, earn some money and do something worthwhile) or
* very established scholars (who have little time) who enjoy a little more money on top of their wages and are happy to provide a service to the field.

Unfortunately because the administrative and technical onus of editing now is increasing so much, and there is less and less money in academia, I am concerned that journal editing is now attracting people who aren't competent in either, 'you pay peanuts, you get monkeys' - and these mistakes happen. T&F should employ scholars as professional editors and pay them a good wage - these mistakes (oversights? overstressed? overworked? or just incompetent?) would not happen, or happen less.

Thanks for the insight! I wondered why impact factors seem quite precarious in my field in recent years... maybe it is because of this!
25-Sep-17, 11:07
by Nad75
Avatar for Nad75
posted about 3 years ago
Trilla, you provide a fascinating viewpoint that does show just how messy the publication business is, so not cynical at all! Very helpful, in fact. It actually helps clear up a personal experience that I had! My very first article was not sound, had terrible peer reviews (justified), but the main editor kept personally pushing me to publish it, just make quick corrections in order to get it out for a special issue. I did not feel confident, as the reviewers made some very valid points and felt like I needed to learn a bit more. In the end, it was reformed into a much better piece and I sent to a different journal, but I was always confused by why the main editor would be so forceful in publishing something that would've made me seem overconfident and irresponsible in research. Your post cleared up my confusion. Wonderful insight that will help us writers navigate the pressure of publish or perish.

Quote From Trilla:
T&F has over seven hundred journals. People churn out pages and pages of scholarship that nobody reads. We need less journals, less articles, but written with more care and edited better.



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