Friday, February 23, 2007

Why my papers gets stuck at revision

For whatever reason I get stuck at the same point with many of my papers--right before a submission (or resubmission) to a journal. From a rational perspective, this makes no sense in that a little extra work will get the manuscript to a journal where it might be published. In thinking about why I have this tendency, I realized that what I enjoy about sociological research happens *before* submission to a journal--formulating the ideas, analyzing the data, and putting together in draft form. From there out it's just work. The problem is that the professional rewards don't start until *after* journal submission (and acceptance).

Here's a graph that illustrates what I mean:
I'm not sure what it means for my future research. On one hand, I have trouble getting articles out the door; on the other hand, I'm keenly motivated to do research. This problem has become more apparent with tenure when I have lost a strong external motivator.

Sigh...

6 comments:

jimi said...

As a graduate student, i can't afford to identify with this, but unfortunately do all-too-well.

Anonymous said...

Just bring on a second/third year grad student to do the grunt work to get it out the door for lowly second authorship in return...duh...
Andy

Michael W. Kruse said...

Man oh man! Have you described my life right now. I completed the first draft of a book early last month. Now I have to edit it for submission. Arrrrgh! I can relate.

Brad Wright said...

Exploiting graduate students... now there is a good idea! Actually, now that I think about it, that was the strategy of some of my professors in grad school.

Mike, what is your book on?

Dan Myers said...

Well, you get further than I do Brad. I'm pretty much done when I run that analysis, and the "answer" pops up on my screen. At that point, I've lost my curiosity and I'm rather susceptible to getting distracted by something else.

Brad Wright said...

Guilt is enough to nudge me into writing something down.