Why writing journal articles is hard

I'm supposed to be editing a journal article for submission. It's been sitting on my desk for a long time. I've even finished the experiments for the follow up paper! I really need to stop looking at garbage on the internet - Including this comic defining my exact situation.

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Sometimes so many things come up at the same time it becomes difficult if impossible to ignore. Here's just a brief list: An oceanographer came to me and asked to see a print copy of an AGU journal article. If you've followed me here from elsewhere, then you'll know my place of work was mandated to…
I've got a paper almost ready to be submitted. The co-authors are taking one last look, I'm making a few minor changes to figures, and I need to do the final formatting of the references. In order to do that last step, though, I need to decide to which journal the paper is going to be submitted.…
I'm deep in editing mode at the moment, and faintly depressed at the number of words I have managed to remove by changes like turning "was [verb]ing " to "[verb]ed." It's a tedious and labor-intensive process that is weirdly exhausting-- all I'm doing is sitting in a cafe somewhere reading text…
[Point of clarification: I was delighted to use this post to congratulate my friend and blogging colleague, Dr Chris Patil, on his contributions to this paper from the laboratory of Dr Judith Campisi discussed below. As the formal press release notes, "[c]o-authoring the paper with Campisi were…

lol, I agree. I find the most difficult aspect is trying to make sure a paper is clear and concise wihtout being too wordy. I just finished one a few days ago..huge relief it is when you're done though.

A while ago I took a course in Academic writing (well, english is not my native language, so it was called English academic writing). One of the best things I learned there was that it really pays to initially write things down really quick and (probably) very dirty. When you've done this, check whether you like the way the contents are setup and then add figures. Now you have a 'complete' text and at this point it is clear how different parts of the text interact. This enables you to properly edit and be clear without using too many words.

Of course, this is only theory, in practice, we just look at crap from the internet and then write the actual article if one night (preferably the night before the deadline). ;)

OMG, yes...that is so me, at exactly this very moment....

[sob]

By Luna_the_cat (not verified) on 20 Feb 2008 #permalink

this is so true, it'd not even funny.

i'm ALSO revising a paper for resubmission. we expect that it'll be accepted this round, so i should just buck up and get it in.

but instead, here i am.
which means...you're my girl in a bikini/T-Rex???