Tuesday, December 13, 2011

263 hours

Tonight Sam and I are submitting a manuscript. Well, kind of. We're sort of pre-submitting a manuscript. We're sending it the editor to ask for feedback on what type of piece it should be submitted as. He'll either say: (1) Thanks, but no thanks. We won't publish this type of thing. (2) Cool. Submit it online as A/B/C so it can go through the review process. Or (3) Um, maybe we might take it as A/B/C but first you should do XYZ before you submit it.

Since I got back from Ukenzagapia a month ago, this has been my priority. I. must. publish. something. asap! I wrote the first draft of this manuscript more than 2 years ago. It was submitted twice and rejected twice (once with review, once without) in 2010. The amount of data has tripled since the first submission, because every time Sam or I have gone to the field we've collected more data. I originally called this my "short note". Ha!

By my calculations, I've spent at least 263 hours on this manuscript. In 40 hour work weeks, that's 6.5 weeks. That doesn't even include data collection. That does include some data entry, writing, reading relevant literature, revising, corresponding with Sam, finding references, some analysis, making and reworking figures, and formatting citations. I don't know about you, but I think that's an insane amount of time. This is my first real paper, which everyone says takes a long time (no kidding).

Just for kicks, let's turn those hours into dollars. Based on my stipend of $2500 per month, we could estimate that it cost more than $4000 in my labor alone to produce this manuscript (that's assuming $625 per week just for the sake of simplicity). And that's not counting Sam's time, which is much more valuable than mine! Science is expensive.

But the real kicker is that it's not over yet. The manuscript is likely to be rejected from this journal, which means it will have to go through more revisions before we can send it somewhere else. I'll just keep counting, mostly to satisfy my own curiosity.

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