Saturday, July 16, 2005

Wacky Ways of Academic Publishing

I have been trying to make sure all the projects I have in the pipeline to be published are on their way. So I have been e-mailing editors in the US, UK, Germany and Estonia. Some of the projects are going quite smoothly. The book on border changes being issued by Tartu University is right on schedule with no problems. The chapter I wrote did not require any major revisions from its original form. The Kennan Center book is hopelessly behind. Some people still have not submitted the draft of their chapters due 1 April 2005. My dissertation is still being considered for publication as a book by a British publisher 1 year after I sent them the manuscript. For about nine months they refused to respond to my e-mail until informing me that they were waiting on an outside reviewer to submit his report. I once reviewed an article for an academic journal and I had a six week deadline. What is this year thing? That covers publications in the form of books.

The encyclopedia on European migration has been delayed due to problems with the translated German version. For some reason they want to issue both the English and German versions at the same time. They did send me the information to fill out so they could wire my 200 Euros into my bank account in March 2006 when they submit it to the printer. I finished writing the first draft of this article in summer 2003 and the final one in fall 2004. If I had to rely on rapid payment from publishers to eat I would starve to death in short order. I just sent in the contract for five short articles for an encyclopedia on modern slavery. They do not pay any money, but I figured it would give me exposure to a new audience. I have written one of the articles and I sent it electronically to the editor yesterday. That covers encyclopedia articles.

The biggest surprise came from the world of academic journals. In early summer of 2004, the editor of Ukrainian Quarterly requested a copy of a paper I gave on Crimean Tatars at that year's ASN (Association for the Study of Nationalities) Convention at Columbia University. I was in London at the time and sent him an electronic copy of the paper. I also informed him it was already available online at the International Committee for Crimea website ( I then did not hear from him again for almost a year. Last month I wrote the editor inquiring as to when it would be published. He requested I send him the paper again. I sent it again and did not hear from him until yesterday. He informed me that my article had been published in the Spring/Summer 2004 issue, a year ago, not long after I initially sent it. I had a publication I did not know about for a year. That is a slightly pleasant surprise.

The other journal article I have scheduled for publication will come out in May 2006. It will probably be the most controversial piece I ever get to publish in a peer reviewed journal. It is on the connections and similarities between Soviet and Israeli ethnic cleansing and policies of racial exclusion. I expanded a bit on the paper I delivered on the same topic at the Violence in the Middle East Conference at Lebanese American University in Beruit in May 2004. It went over well among the mixed audience of Americans, Brits, Lebanese and one German woman. Given the reaction of people like the Scottish troll who earlier defaced one of my comment threads, I suspect it will not be so popular outside the Middle East.

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