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The Work of the Professional Scholar 10: Editorial Work (Books)

In addition to serving as editors and editorial board members for academic journals, many scholars also serve in the same capacity for scholarly book series published by academic presses. Over the years – again, just taking myself as a not particularly unusual example – I have been on the editoral boards for a number of scholarly monographs series: Studies and Documents (published by Eerdmans Press); Early Christianity in Context (T & T Clark), and Vigiliae Christianae Supplements (E. J. Brill). Scholars serving in this capacity perform a similar service to those on editorial boards for journals, but now, rather than evaluating academic articles for publication, they are evaluating books, to be published in a series that is usually devoted to a certain kind of book written, broadly, on a certain kind of subject in the field. Serving as the referee for a book is obviously a good deal more demanding than for an article. Books are much longer, more thoroughly researched, and (far) more important for the academic career of the author. And so a [...]

The Life of a Professional Scholar 9: Editorial Work, Journals (2)

In addition to serving on an editorial board and participating, chiefly, in reading and evaluating journal submissions for publication, there is the task – a far more onerous, time consuming, and significant task – of editing a journal.   I have never had the desire to be the chief editor of a major journal; like a lot of my colleagues, I see my contributions to the field coming in from other directions.   But I have been an associate editor and have seen what editing a journal involves first hand.  It involves a lot. The editor has numerous jobs and responsibilities.  All submissions comes to the editor, who decides on which established scholar(s) should evaluate them for possible publication (the peer-review process).   The editor normally has the final say, based on a careful reading of the article and of the readers’ reports.   The editor is responsible for putting together each issue of the journal, deciding what can fit in and when each article should appear.   (Normally, from the time an article is accepted for publication until it [...]

The Life of a Professional Scholar 8: Editorial Work, Journals (1)

    One aspect of the life of a professional scholar, which may not be well known to the general public, involves editorial work.   For some scholars, this kind of work takes an enormous expenditure of time and effort, although much of the work, and many of the hours, are not transparent or evident to outsiders.  I have done a lot of editorial work over the years, but I do not think that my case is at all exceptional.  A lot of my colleagues have done less, but some have done a good deal more.  Many scholars see editorial work as a major component of “service” to the discipline.  Which means that, for the most part, it is really important but normally thankless! As is my wont I will use my own experience as a guideline for describing this kind of work, since it is really the only experience I know much about in excruciating detail.   I will devote three posts to the matter, two (including this one) dealing with editorial work involving academic / [...]

2020-04-03T19:42:34-04:00May 25th, 2012|Bart's Critics, History of Biblical Scholarship|
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