Friday, August 17, 2012

Author Friendly Journals

Why do we submit to a particular journal? Sometimes it is the impact factor, the professional prestige, or the substantive area. Yet, what about these journals? Are all of them good places to which to send your work? Do all journals treat you the same? Do all editors and processes leave you feeling like a valuable partner in the process of publishing scholarship?

The obvious answer is no. Some articles remain in review for a year and receive nothing but a glib rejection note and thinly veiled contempt.

No wonder why some doctoral students and junior scholars wind up discouraged and depressed over the prospect of publishing, and why some senior faculty are jaded by about publication.

I am working on the concept of "author friendless" -the factors that go into making a journal appealing to authors other than the above mentioned areas. Here are some of the factors that I have come up with so far, in no particular order.

1) Review time
2) Responsiveness to author questions
3) Ease of submission
4) Editorial discretion over poor reviews
5) Editorial openness to alternative views
6) Editor's willingness to engage with authors
7) Clarity and accuracy of guidelines
8) Time to publication
9) Editor takes responsibility for mistakes (huge)

I would love to hear your thoughts about this concept, and any other possible criteria.

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