Why I’d Rather Do Research than Publish

For whatever reason I get stuck at the same point with many of my papers–right before a submission (or resubmission) to a journal. From a rational perspective, this makes no sense in that a little extra work will get the manuscript to a journal where it might be published. In thinking about why I have this tendency, I realized that what I enjoy about sociological research happens *before* submission to a journal–formulating the ideas, analyzing the data, and putting together in draft form. From there out it’s just work. The problem is that the professional rewards don’t start until *after* journal submission (and acceptance).

Here’s a graph that illustrates what I mean:

I love research because I’m very curious about the world, but when it comes to getting things out the door, then it’s more just plain-old-discipline.

Sigh.

  • http://www.briercrest.ca/facultyprofile.asp?facultyName=CharlesHackney&facultyId=132 Charles

    Clearly, your problem is that you are too secure in your self-concept, with a healthy and robust independence of spirit. You need to place more value on what other people think of you, and slavishly tie your self-esteem to the fleeting glory that comes from even the smallest of professional accomplishments. Then your “personal satisfaction” curve will parallel your “professional value” curve. You will find that you’re miserable until you have another article published, and you will be motivated to scramble and think of something… anything… that you might be able to quickly turn into a publishable manuscript.

    You’re welcome.

    • http://www.brewright.com Bradley Wright

      thank you!

  • http://michaelrjones.wordpress.com Michael

    Charles:

    That is without a doubt one of the most awesome comments I have ever read!

    And Bradley, I feel your pain.

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