Revise and Resubmit

On Friday I received a response to my article submission (the piece I gave back at the beginning of last year to the Postgraduate Conference in Kaikoura). This was a little surprising; I had been told it would take three to four months to get a reply and I sent it in (well, used a strange and arcane web-interface to submit it) a little over three weeks. In academic terms this was a little like breaking the light barrier.

My first thought was that this must be a rejection letter but it turned out to be a `Revise and Resubmit.’ Admittedly, they want a major revision, but it’s still a tiny bit of academic progress. This will be my first truly academic article should it get accepted (the Skeptic piece does not count, seeing as it is not a peer-reviewed publication) ((Although this is not a paper I’m all that wed to, truth be told. My other paper awaiting a response, the AAP piece, is much more interesting and much more relevant to my thesis)).

I have, since Friday morning, spent an awful lot of time rewriting. One thing the two reviews of the paper showed me was that the first third was too much like a discussion paper rather than something trying to advance a thesis. I’m hoping to fix that with this new revision. I’ve cut out about five hundred words and replaced them with almost brand new ones, some of which make snappier points than their forebears.

It’s also been a bit of trial, in re software. I write my thesis in TeX. Most journals used to accept TeX documents but a lot of them are moving towards Word .doc submissions, mostly, I believe, because of the Track Changes feature (which TeX can provide some functionality of, but not `out of the box’). I hardly ever use Word and don’t like having too; it takes too long to load and it paginates weirdly. For a little while I had a footnote that was located smack in the middle of a page and nothing fixed it until I loaded the file up on another machine.

More news as it comes to hand.


bi -- IJI says:

A technique I learnt: When I modify a LaTeX document, I normally write the modifications in a way that preserves the line divisions (but only in the source, not in the output). This makes it easier to compare different versions of the same document using e.g. diff.

(I also tried using wdiff, but it has the habit of crashing on my computer.)