Monday, June 22, 2009
Norms of Publication
Can anybody tell me why every single academic journal (at least, in my discipline) comes up with a list of very peculiar norms of publication? We have our MLA Handbook, why can't we just follow the norms for quoting and bibliography that it suggests? We all know the MLA requirements very well and feel conmofrtable with them. But no, that would make our academic lives way too easy.
When you are used to quoting in a certain format, it's incredibly time-consuming to have to go through an article and redo it according to some weird and inexplicable requirements of a specific journal. And the most upsetting thing is that if they reject your article, you'll have to redo the entire bibliography and all of your quotes for another journal.
A journal where I submitted my most recent article (on Rosa Montero's Temblor as a Neo-Baroque Bildungsroman) wrote to say that it successfully passed the first round of evaluation (whatever that means) but now I have to change the bibliography according to their norms as soon as possible. Why couldn't they first decide whether they accept it and then ask me to do all this work changing it?
So, on this beautiful sunny day I have to be sitting here trying to grasp the intricacies of their unusual system of quoting. I hope it's not for nothing.