Getting Published: Advice from Higher Up the Food Chain

ProfHacker discusses the two approaches to being published, the traditional years-long approach and the “down and dirty” article.

As I reached the last year before submitting my application for tenure and promotion, a senior member of my department told me I should get a down-and-dirty article out. He said I should take something from the past that was already pretty much written and just get it out so I’d have something else in submission. He said I shouldn’t spend too much time on it but should just clean it up and get it out. In June 2008, I pulled up the file for an article I wrote in 2000 just after I finished coursework. … I spent a couple of weeks tightening my argument and adding lots of footnotes in the style of “For further information on this point, please see these articles.” If you look at my bibliography, it cites nothing published in this century, though the footnotes are all from the last few years.

That article was published with minor revisions.

[M]aybe you don’t have to worry about publishing only new work that you have taken years to complete. Maybe there’s value in something you already have.

Particularly in light of the recommendations a colleague made to me recently, this article hit home.

Obviously I am sending work out fairly regularly, though right now I only have two texts in the submission stage, but it still makes me consider what I am doing in light of what I could be doing.

Are there other works in my folders that should be seeing the light of day? Yes, there probably are.

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