publication strategies and plan b
This post is about publication strategy. In general, the advice one gets is to shoot for the top but what happens if that doesn’t pan out? What should you do then? Well, as usual, a lot depends on your discipline, department, and specialty. A few strategies:
- In all except the top programs, you can compensate for journal prestige with quantity.
- In general, you get more credit for publishing in quality specialty journals than in regional journals.
- Sometimes, it is better to move “laterally” from one discipline to another. That is a strategy I have used. Rather than let an article “fall” to a journal within sociology that doesn’t get a lot of credit, I’d rather try a higher reputation journal in a related field.
- If you are in a discipline that values both books and articles, it may help to switch formats.
- There are sometimes “hip” journals. They aren’t the most cited, but they get respect. Recently in sociology, we’ve seen two hip journals pop up in areas that I follow – Mobilization and Poetics. Not the “top” journals in terms of impact scores, but sociologists really like them.
Also, don’t forget to work on your numbers. Even the most prestigious academics have their papers routinely rejected. Therefore, it is important for most people to have two or three papers under review, if you need one accepted. That also entails a schedule. For you to produce the volume, you have to be good at getting projects done in a timely fashion. Dithering = death. Wait too long, and you won’t have time for your plan b.