Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Year in the Life of a Tenured Professor: 2016 in review

Academics, like many people, often focus on what is right in front of us. However, much of our work takes years to complete. My book that came out last year, for example, began with a proposal I wrote in 2008! Insofar as many of us are perpetually behind and barely meeting deadlines, it can feel as though we are unproductive, even when we are getting things done.

For these reasons, at the end of each calendar year, I like to reflect on what I have accomplished during the year. And, occasionally, I publish these reflections on this blog, as I did in 2012.

In 2016, my biggest accomplishment for the year is an edited volume, which will come out from Oxford University Press next Fall. That project is unusual as most of the work was completed during the calendar year of 2016. Another thing I can say I did this year is I drafted three (similar) 5-page grant proposals to request seed funding for my new project on incarceration. I also drafted and got under review two co-authored articles and three book chapters. At least half of what I did this year, then, is still under review. On the other hand, I have several articles that came out this year that required little to no effort in 2016.

This reality makes it difficult to get a handle on what I actually accomplished this calendar year. I thus find it useful to break down my accomplishments by category of effort expended in 2016. This spectrum ranges from projects I began in 2016 to articles that appeared in 2016 with no effort on my part at all.

Here is a list of works I started in 2016 and their current stages.

Works I started and finished in 2016 (for the most part)

  1. Edited volume for OUP � in production.
  2. Short article with C RnRed
  3. Article w Z and B under review
  4. Three small grants for mass incarceration project drafted and under review
  5. Short article in Spanish written and published
  6. Book chapter on DR w YC written and accepted
  7. Book chapter on racism and deportation drafted and submitted
  8. OUP Race textbook second edition first complete round of revisions
  9. 7 online essays published

There are also two pieces that were accepted in 2016. These pieces involved significant revisions of works started in a previous year.

Works accepted in 2016 (that involved substantial revisions this year)

  1. ERS article w Z accepted
  2. Obama book chapter finished and accepted
  3. Book chapter for my edited volume revised and accepted

Then, there are three articles I learned were accepted in 2016, but for which most (but not all) of the work was done in previous years.

Works accepted in 2016 (where most of the work was done in a prior year

  1. 2016. �Parallels Between Mass Incarceration and Mass Deportation: An Intersectional Analysis� Journal of World-Systems Research 22.2: 484-509 Download here.
  2. 2016. �Feeling Like a Citizen, Living as a Denizen: Deportees� Sense of Belonging� American Behavioral Scientist doi: 10.1177/0002764216664943 Download here.
  3. 2016. ��Negative Credentials,� �Foreign-Earned� Capital, and Call Centers: Guatemalan Deportees� Precarious Reintegration� Citizenship Studies Download here.

Additionally, there are pieces that required no effort in 2016, but that came out this past year. (I can't even remember when I wrote #4 - maybe three years ago?)

Works published in 2016 where all the work was done in prior years.

  1. 2016. �A Critical and Comprehensive Sociological Theory of Race and Racism� Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 2: 2. Read online here
  2. 2016. �Racialized and Gendered Mass Deportation and the Crisis of Capitalism� Symposium on Race and Ethnicity in the Capitalist World-System Journal of World-Systems Research. Read online here
  3. 2016. �National Insecurities: The Apprehension of Criminal and Fugitive Aliens� The Immigrant Other: Lived Experiences in a Transnational World Edited by: Rich Furman, Greg Lamphear, and Douglas Epps. Columbia University Press.
  4. 2016. �Peru� The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism, First Edition. Edited by y John Stone, Rutledge M. Dennis, Polly S. Rizova, Anthony D. Smith, and Xiaoshuo Hou.
  5. 2016. Review of Beneath the Surface of White Supremacy: Denaturalizing U.S. Racisms Past and Present by Moon-Kie Jung in Political Science Quarterly.

Finally, there are several works that involved research, reading, and writing, yet are not publications.

Work that is not publications but involved research and writing
  1. 9 interviews for new project completed
  2. 4 external P&T reviews
  3. 28 article, book, and grant reviews
  4. 2 grant panel reviews
  5. Read and took notes on 12 books on mass incarceration
  6. 3 Get a Life, PhD campus workshops
  7. 1 keynote in Spanish
  8. 4 invited public lectures on Deported
  9. 4 conference presentations
  10. 18 letters of recommendations

2016 was a relatively light teaching year for me yet teaching relief was replaced with a heavy service burden as I launched our Faculty Equity Advisor Program. I did not teach in the Spring of 2016 and I taught two classes in the Fall of 2016. Throughout the year, I maintained a writing schedule of one to two hours a day. I rarely wrote for less than one hour and hardly ever wrote for more than two, even when I wasn't teaching.

I always marvel and how much you can accomplish when you focus for an hour or two each day on writing. After taking account of what I have done, I can say that 2016 was a success and I can take my well-deserved end of the year two-week vacation! See you in 2017!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Seven Steps to your First Article Submission to an Academic Journal

If you are on the brink of submitting your first article to an academic journal, congratulations! This is an exciting step in your career. In this post, I will go through the steps of submitting your first article.

  1. Find a suitable journal. This is the most important step and one you should seek advice on from knowledgeable experts. Ask at least one person who has read the latest version of your manuscript if the journal you have selected is appropriate. If you are still unsure, you can send a brief (two or three sentence) query letter to the journal editor to inquire about fit.
  2. Follow the submission instructions. Once you have selected your target journal, go to their webpage and look for instructions on how to submit. That page will have specific guidelines you must follow. These guidelines range from font to format to references to length. Follow all of the guidelines exactly. If the website has a document that says �Guidelines for authors,� read it.
  3. Get your article in the best shape you can. Review your article several times to make sure that there are no errors. Double check all in-text citations to make sure they are properly cited in the reference section. Make sure you have spelled all proper nouns (author and university names) properly. (Check out this post for a description of �rookie mistakes� and how to avoid them.)
  4. De-identify yourself in the manuscript. Most journals prefer that if you cite yourself, you don�t name yourself. Instead, you will write (Author 2012) and omit that entry from the bibliography during the submission process.
  5. Write a brief and courteous cover letter. Your cover letter should be on letterhead. Address the Editor by name. (You can find their name on the website.) Provide the title of the article, the word count, and a brief statement of fit with the journal. Thank the Editor for their consideration.
  6. Submit your article to the journal and wait for a response.
  7. Wait some more. Journal review processes take time. You should be able to find out the norms in your discipline. In my discipline, after three months, it is acceptable to send a brief inquiry to the managing editor to inquire about the status of the manuscript. If you submit this inquiry, be polite.
When you finally receive a response, it will usually fall in one of four categories:
  • Accept. A straightforward accept is highly unusual and even more so for an early-career scholar. But, it does happen sometimes.
  • Conditional accept. Some journals will issue a conditional acceptance where they ask you to make specific revisions prior to publication. This is a very favorable outcome, although also fairly uncommon on a first submission. Once you make those revisions, the editor will review the manuscript in-house and publish the article if your revisions are satisfactory.
  • Revise and resubmit. This is a great outcome and has given you a real shot at publication. I have a detailed post explaining how to respond to this kind of response. I suggest you check it out.
  • Reject. Rejections, unfortunately, are very common in academia. So, hopefully, this won�t be your last rejection. The more rejections you get, the more you are submitting. There are two kinds of rejections � a desk reject and a rejection after review. If you get a desk reject, it is likely either because the article is not ready to be submitted or because you sent it to the wrong journal. The editor�s letter should indicate whether it is a question of quality or fit. A rejection after review takes longer, but often comes with helpful reviews. If you get one of these, I suggest following many of the steps that I suggest in the Revise and Resubmit post before submitting to another journal.

Publishing is the main currency of academia. It is not easy, but it is the singular most important thing you can do, especially as an early career academic. So, don�t give up!