Friday, January 16, 2009

Let the Headache Begin

Of course, there had to be a downside to getting a paper accepted for publication. The headache of pre-publication paperwork turns out to be it.

There has been no training on how to handle the technicalities of being first author. Up until today, this has consisted entirely of keeping on top of who's turn it is to edit the manuscript, submitting the final documents, and forwarding emails; none of this is something I needed a great deal of training for. Now, however, the paperwork is rolling in.

Okay, it was only one email. But what an email! Do you want to pay $700 for your figure to be printed in color? Heck no, you have to be kidding me. Do you want a "marked PDF", or 25 free offprints? I don't know - I'll be able to get a regular PDF copy as soon as it's available online, so I can't see the point of a "marked" one, but (aside from my Dad's desire to hand out copies of my paper like Halloween candy), I'm not sure that there's a point to paper offprints either. (How cheap are these journals that they think throwing together a PDF negates the traditional cost of 25 copies of the article?)

I've been having a relaxed, stress-free, relatively productive week. There is no logical reason for this email to ruin my day. I think the problem is that it's just the start. The road to publication will continue as a long, drawn-out process with occasional tasks coming at unpredictable times. I hate getting emails I can't just deal with immediately and delete.


Clarissa said...

"There has been no training on how to handle the technicalities of being first author."

Especially if one is only a student, and the other co-authors are full-fledged professors, and there is no way one could ask them to "do this, do that" because they are definitely busier than one (a student).

Anonymous said...

I have never published as corresponding author with Elsevier before. They just asked me this question also. I was googling to see exactly what a "marked pdf" is and why it might be different from the published version. I'm going to choose the offprints. My grandchildren will be able to read the paper-copy (and laugh at my ignorance) but I doubt they will know what a pdf is.

grad student said...

I would have gone with offprints myself - my dad wants copies, and doesn't see any majesty to .pdf - but my co-authors both prefer the .pdf, and I bowed on the grounds of not wanting to do the paperwork. I think I'll invest in some nice paper and use the lab printer to create nice copies for immediate family members. Then I won't feel silly autographing them...