While everyone is suddenly working from home instead of the office, my days are not that different at the moment than before the coronacrisis. In January I quit my job to be able to focus on my academic career and one of the things I’ve been working on since then is my first publication.

In October I gave a lecture based on my master thesis at a conference in Gent. Afterwards, the organisation announced that all speakers were invited to send an article based on their lecture to the Tydskrif vir Nederlands en Afrikaans, an academic journal for Dutch and Afrikaans linguistics and literary studies.

I rewrote the text of my lecture to make it fitting for an academic article and a few weeks ago I received an email saying that my article was accepted as long as a changed a few little things my peer reviewers wanted to see differently.

Getting feedback from anonymous peer reviewers is very different from what I’m used to. Some of their feedback was very useful and will definitely make my paper a better one, but they also made a few remarks that I don’t agree with. Which means that this will be a good exercise in building academic confidence, because I will have to defend why I will not change those things. This is also where the anonymous part of peer reviewing becomes kind of a thing. Of course I understand why this is the rule, but I would so very much like to know the background of these reviewers. It feels very relevant for their comments to know if they are experts in my particular niche (postcolonial trauma theory) or if they’re just literary scholars in general.

I expected the whole process of publishing an article to be much more stressful. Of course I’m excited about it (and clicking on “send” was quite a Big Deal) but I expected to be treated… more harshly? As just starting in the world of academics, I thought my peer reviewers would have a lot more comments and I’m just really glad that my article got accepted. The whole thing feels so motivating now, that I am already working on two more articles to publish after this one.

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