Stock take, part I: in press

Over a recent weekend I finished a paper, for a purpose that by now it will be possible to explain but since I am writing this before, and the bending of chronology and twisting together of past and future amuses me, I shall continue to keep schtum about it for now. However, this means that another text joins the ranks of my as-yet-unpublished work. I have rather a lot of these. I made the mistake of counting them the same day and was horrified enough by the results that I thought it was time to involve my limited public. Let’s start with what I’ve finished, and move on to the things where I’m failing or flailing once that happy glow of achievement is established… If you’re better-established than me you can tell me where I’m going wrong, if you’re not, be warned about what you may have coming.

At the time of writing I have five papers that both exist and have an agreed place of publication. (I have one more with an agreement but no finished text that causes me mild guilt every time I look at the relevant part of my to-read shelves.) These are, in probable order of publication, short titles only and destinations concealed to protect editors from embarrassment:

  1. “Currency change in pre-millennial Catalonia”. First written for the departmental seminar in early 2007. Two subsequent rewrites and much helpful critique from editor, just missed deadline for publication in 2008 alas, rather longer version with fewer tables of charter cites should be out in a respected journal in December 2009 subject to a final referee’s report. Here’s hoping. I actually see the editor enough to get some genuine dialogue about this one and it’s salutary how much difference this makes.
  2. “Arabic-named communities in ninth- and tenth-century Asturias and León, at court and at home”. Half of a larger paper I wrote for a conference in 2006, just before the blog, back in much happier times. It got thoroughly critiqued and I rewrote it for presentation in 2007. Torturous problems with graphing the data. Rejected by old fusty journal, accepted by new exciting journal and reviewed by someone helpful but very interventionist, rewritten once since acceptance therefore in time for publication in July this year, which didn’t happen; it probably needs another rewrite yet, if so it’ll have to happen soon as last I heard it was scheduled for publication January 2010, which I therefore no longer believe.
  3. “Centurions, Alcalas and Christiani perversi: Organisation of Society in the pre-Catalan Terra de Ningú”. Written for conference in 2006, rewritten for another early 2007 at which publication was expected so imminently they had an ISBN for the volume within two months. Not so, alas. I submitted on time, but some other contributors appear not to consider this urgent and so despite the best will of the editors this has languished. It could be out any minute! But it presumably won’t be. Also, it’s been waiting so long that almost everything of mine I cited in it has changed names and in some cases even almost come out…
  4. “Coinage, Digitization and the World-Wide Web: numismatics and the COINS Project”, with Achille Felicetti & Reinhard Hüber-Mork. A much-inflated version of a paper I gave in 2007 in Vienna, then submitted to a CFP I learnt about from The Heroic Age blog (thanks Larry!) and accepted, now about to be revised before final submission, due out May 2010. Another edited volume but because it’s a volume on digital stuff I presume that most of the people writing will be junior, hungry for more CV points and therefore probably submit closer to deadline than the previous one.
  5. “Settling the King’s Lands: aprisio in Catalonia in perspective.” ‘A small point of pedantry, or, as I like to call it, scholarship.’ First written in 2002 as an invective against another article I disagreed with vehemently. Subsequently revised several times as I took in more and more previous scholarship and took out the bile and spleen (or most of it). Sufficiently declawed to be accepted by a premier-league journal and now with them and in the print queue but no word about schedules. I hope that 2010 is a good bet.

So okay, I have stuff forthcoming for ages ahead, and some of it has been that way for ages behind. But prior to that I had almost nothing for five years and the reason for that was mainly that I was working on too many other things at once. This could easily happen again, at this rate, and I don’t want another five-year drought. Many of these pieces are also finished, or mostly. So what hasn’t happened? I’ll confess and promise to mend my ways in a few very near-future posts. I can tell you’re all eager already…

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19 responses to “Stock take, part I: in press

  1. steve muhlberger

    Cruel to B cont.!!

  2. Maybe starting all at once and never finishing anything on time is a scholarly attribute? I started extensive reading on the Middle Ages to prepare me for my course, but have only finished two books. Anyway, buena suerte with finishing them soon, and having them published.

    • I protest! I do finish things on time. And some other scholars pile out papers like there was no wait at all. Presumably they have the timing better worked out than I do. But good luck with your books also; one really does have to skim as a student, and then again as an academic, it’s cruel. The only thing one can really afford to read closely is the sources. They will reward you.

  3. Ok, ok, take no offense! :-) I guess it is true when you say we have to skim, even though we wish we didn’t. So much work, so little time… I guess that’s one of the reasons I’ve taken up manuscripts and Latin, for interpretations and translations may vary greatly, but always being able to read from the source is priceless.

  4. As someone whose former life was in the almost-instant-gratification world of journalism, I find the idea of such a long wait between finishing something and having it published to be absolutely excruciating. Even worse when you’ve done your bit, but other people are holding up the works! If only you could hunt them down and light a fire under them…

    • The last time I knew who one of them was, unfortunately, it was someone I very much needed on side. So no fires could be lit. Who it is now, I’ve no idea. And seriously, a three-year print delay is bad for research; it means we duplicate work ridiculously easily. If the humanities weren’t so large we’d gazump each other all the time. Of course in the sciences there are much shorter print times and there’s still competition for publishing the same findings…

  5. And this is why I’m torn between trying to come up with a paper for Leeds, and just chairing. I’m pretty much settled on the latter, unless I *have* to, because I have a book I have a legal agreement for and two articles to finish shaping up and start to send out. I need to get past the ‘stuff in progress’ stage and get at least some things in the queue. And figure out a way to get more research done during the teaching term.

    • Finish the book! We wants it, precious. Also the paper. Both the papers! OK yeah maybe you’d just better moderate :-) I’ve now come up with a paper idea but it’s one that won’t cost me too much to put together. Already over-committed!

  6. Pingback: Stock take, part II: in need of actual research « A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe

  7. Cullen Chandler

    Hmmm… an aprisio-oriented invective against a previous article with which you disagreed… I feel sorry for the chap who wrote that piece!

    Ah, well. You needn’t worry about me anymore. I have a job a love, and it requires much teaching and college service. Ergo, not a lot of time for research, writing, and publication. I only have three and a half papers in the hopper, plus the book that will never get finished. Good luck with all of your work!

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