So the follow-up to my advice of “write stuff down and send stuff out” is that the “send stuff out” part is neither random or straightforward. So “send stuff out” should really read “send stuff out well” – and this post is aimed at some of the ways that one can do that. There are two main elements of “well” that i want to address – doing a good job packaging something to send it, and choosing the write place to send it. This post will talk about journal articles specifically, and future posts will address the book process.
So, what do I mean by doing a good job packaging something to send out? Assume for a second that we have chosen an outlet to send the article to (discussed below). That outlet has a guideline word count, a proposed submission format (word or PDF, Chicago or Harvard citations, footnotes or endnotes), a submission process (ScholarOne or email), a preference on self-citations (omitting them, replacing name with ‘author,’ doing noting), anonymity, the inclusion of a cover letter or bio. Follow them. Every single one of them. Some journals desk reject things that miss these things, but even the ones that don’t are annoyed by it. It is worth the couple of hours of your time to follow the guidelines. Make sure that you have copyedited what you’re sending, or that a friend or advisor has. Use a working email address (preferably a professional one) to make the submission. You might think that I am being silly about this, but as a journal editor, many submissions violate one or all of these rules, and it matters in their chances for publication success. When you submit something, do tailor it to the place you are submitting it.
Which brings me to … how do I choose an outlet?