- Spend a couple of years collecting data, developing models, reading literature, talking with co-authors, procrastinating, complaining you are busy, writing, re-writing, questioning, doubting, and eventually producing a working paper.
- Spend another year honing, revising, questioning, doubting, rewriting, downplaying significance, motivating co-authors*, complaining, wondering, forgetting to meet deadlines, procrastinating and eventually deciding the working paper is submission worthy.
- Submit the paper to a journal.
- Spend 6 months waiting, wondering, forgetting, working, teaching, writing (another paper), doubting, anticipating mediocre reviews from uninterested, distracted, unmotivated, unincentivized** reviewers.
- Receive mediocre reviews from uninterested, distracted, unmotivated, unincentivized reviewers along with a polite, unsubtle rejection letter from a slightly more interested, slightly less distracted, slightly more motivated, slightly more incentivized editor.
- Kick the dog***.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4.
- Receive optimistic reviews from different but still uninterested, distracted, unmotivated, unincentivized reviewers.
- Discard any modicum of integrity, compromise your beliefs, your standards, your norms and spend 3 months revising the paper to address any and all comments from the different but still uninterested, distracted, unmotivated, unincentivized reviewers.
- Resubmit the paper to the journal is step 7 and spend another 6 months waiting, wondering, forgetting, working, teaching, writing (another paper), doubting, anticipating rubber-stamp positive reviews from the different but still uninterested, distracted, unmotivated, unincentivized reviewers.
- Receive an acceptance letter from the editor with instructions on how to follow a nonstandard set of guidelines for formatting your paper for final publication.
- Spend 10 minutes revising your curriculum vitae to list the paper as forthcoming,
- Spend 3 months procrastinating, revising, adding periods (and commas, parentheses, volume numbers, etc) to your bibliographic citations.
- Resubmit the final version of the paper.
- Spend 2 months awaiting receipt of the copyright agreements, signing over most (all?) rights to your intellectual property to the journal.
- Spend another 2 months waiting for galley proofs of your article.
- Receive the galley proofs along with notification that the publisher is on a tight publication schedule and all galley proofs must be checked thoroughly, completely and dramatically within 12 hours of receipt of the galleys (OK, that's an exaggeration. They usually give you 2 days).
- Submit the galley proofs on time three weeks late.
- Wait another 3 months for final notification of a publication date which is 1 year hence.
- Open your inbox on a Monday morning to the following notification that you are in the final stages of the rewarding academic publication process:
To: Timothy Haab (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Ohio State University
From: <redacted journal name>
Please remit US$373.75, which is 25% of the page charges incurred for your article with <three redacted co-authors names> entitled <redacted title> which appears in <redacted journal name>.
Ah, the glory.
*I am not the motivator. I am usually the one who needs to be motivated.
**Is that a word?
***That's a metaphor people, sheesh.