I have never submitted an article to an academic journal [Blame time constraints or lack of confidence in my material] – perhaps one day…

But what I have spent a surprisingly long time doing is helping my wife footnote and format her articles for different journals. For those of you who don’t deal in the minutiae of academia a brief explanation might help: academic journals all have a house-style which means that they want your headings and sub-headings to be consistent with other articles, they want a specific type of citation and have preferences about fonts, margins and footnotes. Journals are internally consistent but can be wildly different from each other even in the same discipline. Some author guidelines are several pages long and if you want to get published you sure as hell better read them because its ruthless out there..

I have come to the conclusion that the process is labyrinthine and laborious primarily to make you (the author) feel like you have really earned your place amongst the pages.
I have also realised that the key reason they make you do it – is so they don’t have to. It is long slow work reading and reviewing articles even if you are interested in the topic but checking commas and margins and references…it would be never-ending. I am pretty anally-retentive about style but I could never be a professional proof-reader!

So it is with some trepidation that I approach editing my thesis and acknowledge the mammoth task ahead. Also am I ready to write my own articles yet?…


Any Thoughts?

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