Monday, January 09, 2012

choosing another journal ..

disclaimer: if you are looking for the tv show "the bachelor" then sorry: you clicked on the wrong link. instead, jεnna burkε's blοg can be found at this direct link.

.. say: if you haven't clicked on the link yet (and left this website for good) then can i ask a small favor?
  1. run the search on "οveranalyst blοg" again .. actually, a few more times,
  2. click on ms. burkε's link each time.
it's not that i want her to gain popularity;
it's not that i want her to lose, either.

(to be honest, i don't even watch the show.)

you see, the sooner her blοg is the #1 hit for the web search above, the fewer people will be frustrated at stumbling upon my blοg and not hers.

granted, this site is called the frustratεd οver-analyst, but i've only ever meant to blog about my own troubles and not cause more troubles for others.  the last thing i want is for this blοg to go the way of the blues [1] and it was never meant to be a huge, popular website anyway. 

that said, i'm going to write about maths now.

i have an aversion to the professional part of being a mathematician.  at the very least, i'm not particularly good at it.  it's probably the reason, in fact, why i became an academic in the first place: avoiding reality and the rat race has always been part of my lifestyle.

so part of the job of research is to submit and publish scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals .. which is part of that aversion.  yes, it's a necessary task, but it still bothers me each time.

regarding talks at conferences [2] i don't mind giving those, even if i'm similarly inept at that skill too.  that seems to me a more reasonable errand because:
  • i can see the audience, occasionally gauge their reaction; 
  • they wouldn't be there if they weren't somewhat interested [3] or at least, are willing to take a chance;
  • often i know many people in the audience, and some of them are friends.
as for figuring out where one of my preprints belongs .. how should i know?  i'm still patting myself on the back for having finished a complete, readable draft!

that said, i'm not a natural writer, either .. which makes me wonder, sometimes, how i became a mathematician in the first place.

but i digress:

today i spent a great deal of the afternoon, looking up citation numbers, submission timelines, and journals my colleagues have published, in order to get a sense of what is fitting.

before leaving the office, i narrowed it down to 2-3 choices, but i'm still ambivalent.

to be fair, i already chose a journal some months ago.  in fact, i didn't have to think too hard about it.  in my mind it was exactly the right one ..

.. and they said no.


on the other hand, it was the fastest rejection that i've ever received .. and the kindest, too.  maybe it's standard lip-service, but all the reviewers had good things to say about my submission, to the point where ..

.. if i had to describe it as a break-up in a relationship,
then it sounds like a "it's not you, it's me" sort of thing:

in their words:

we .. cannot publish your paper, because the level of excitement it generates is not high enough (although the level of interest is very solid) ..

.. we have to be extremely harsh in our selection. And we are aware that we may be making a mistake in this case.

barring the paper's acceptance, i don't think i could have asked for more than that.


perhaps i just missed the cut and they needed to reject it, along with many other good articles that now have to find new homes .. it's what makes me feel better, anyway.

oh well: time to pick another journal.
eeeny, meeny, miny .. (-:

[1] as bleeding gums murphy would say: "the blues isn't about making yourself feel better; it's about making other people feel worse!"

[2] .. which reminds me: i'll discuss how my most recent talk went, in a later post.  stay tuned!

[3] in the case of large conferences with several parallel sessions (of contributed talks) it could be that, to the average participant, my title/abstract was the least uninteresting in that time slot, and it would feel too wrong to not attend any of the talks.

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