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Monday, February 22, 2010

By Invitation Only

Most of the articles I've published in the decade of the 00s--2001-2010--, including four articles I have in press and 1 was invited to do just now, have been by submitted by invitation. Some of these have gone through some editorial process, but basically I have not had to submit articles cold to a journals very much at all. Even some of the articles I wrote in the first decade of my career were also by invitation. Nothing i've ever submitted this way has been rejected either.

Here's a couple of points: don't accept invitations to write articles you don't really want to write, that interrupt the flow of your main research projects. Don't write articles for reference books if you can help it.

On the other hand, accept all reputable invitations to write articles that you want to write anyway. The advantage is that these invitations have deadlines attached to them, and external deadlines are preferable to self-set ones that you can and will change yourself. The second advantage: you are likely to get accepted, as long as you do a creditable job. Nobody really wants to reject someone after inviting that someone to submit. If you agree with the person editing the book or special issue of the journal on your topic ahead of time, you won't be rejected for arbitrary reasons--like the fact that someone doesn't like your topic.

The drawback is that you might not get as rigorous an editorial process as in a cold submission. You'll have to take care of the quality yourself. Also, you have to first put yourself in a position to get invited, and to do that you have publish through cold, blind submission first. Finally, invitations tend to come in spurts--maybe 3 or 4 in one year and then nothing for a few years. You want to make sure they don't alter the rhythm of your writing. What I do is submit articles that I already have planned rather than depending on invitations for the impetus.

UPDATE; A few minutes after I wrote this post I got an invitation in my email for write another article.

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