Delays in the publishing process

The publishers of academic journals and textbooks are notorious for what seem to the authors to be lengthy delays in the publishing process, and then announcing that the proofs will be ready in a day or two and please to have them back, corrected, within 48 hours.

If authors want to ensure rapid publication, they have to consider that certain kinds of publication are much slower than others. For example, as noted in Chapter 3.1, encyclopaedias, handbooks (with edited chapters), edited texts and conference proceedings can all take ages to emerge. Authors contributing to any one of these kinds of text can rely on someone else not to complete their contribution on time and to hold up publication. For example, when I was writing the first draft of this chapter (in August 2006), I received, out of the blue, a copy of the proofs for a conference paper that I had delivered in 2002, together with a request to return them corrected in two weeks' time . . . This does not mean that authors should not agree to write these kinds of text, but it helps if they are aware of the consequences.

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