Academic articles

In the last month, I have gotten two requests for a PDF version of an article I published in 2009, both from colleagues in Iceland. I knew that the journal I was publishing in was relatively new, but still I would think that a Scandinavian journal (Nordisk Museologi, published in Norway) would be accessible in Iceland. I once published an article in Material History Review, and am not at all surprised no one has ever read that, even though it is a really good article (about how objects were re-appropriated by Viking raiders). I should become more particular about publishing in journals that are more widely read, I now realize.

There are other tricks to publishing academic articles also. Most academic journals have a rather long lead time. Sometimes a submitted article takes over a year to make it to print, although on average it is about 6 months I think after acceptance. My Nordisk Museologi piece was in print less than 3 months after I wrote it, which was great. Because you never do know how the field is going to develop over the course of several months. One must therefore be a bit of a clairvoyant to ensure that an article will still be relevant by the time it reaches print, and more to the point, still be relevant once people start to realize it has actually been published (which can take years). Thus in some sense, one is taking a stab in the dark when one submits an article, not knowing exactly when or how it will ever reach its audience.

Those academics who do manage to make a positive, interesting, important, meaningful, or unique contribution through an academic article, even months or years after the fact, get a big thumbs up in my book.


Lissy said…
It is even more impressive if the article is true, but then that would perhaps be asking too much?

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