Academics everywhere seem to have a hate-love relationship with publishing. Each discipline seems to have its own standards and norms, ranging from the "publish or perish" model that emphasizes quantity (prevalent across much of the natural and biomedical sciences) to the heavy emphasis on allegedly "top" journals in philosophy. And academics are often struggling hard to square discipline-specific expectations with institutional demands (variously enforced by Annual Reviews, University Tenure and Promotion Committees, or nation-wide programmes such as Britain's RAE/REF which have caused many academics a sleepless night or two...). Typically, however, we think of publishing in terms of its output -- individual publications, whether they be articles, monographs, edited volumes, special issues etc. An increasingly competitive grant culture encourages such thinking and has coined the rather awful expression 'research deliverable' to refer equally to publications, patents, prototypes etc.
What's missing from the narrow emphasis on publications as 'output', however, is the day-to-day experience of publishing: how to get one's work published (or, as the case may be, how not to get published), how to revise accepted papers for final publication, how to handle proofs (and deadlines), etc. In philosophy, given the often enormous time delays between first submitting a paper and finally seeing it in print (whether in the journal one first submitted to or, more likely, another one) -- and given further that almost all the work is outsourced to authors -- the mechanics of the publishing process can add up to a lot of work and can take up quite a bit of time.
Having published a monograph last year (with a second one in the works right now...), and having been involved in a number of special issues (several of which with an interdisciplinary bent), I've recently started thinking a fair amount about the *process* of publishing -- not just about 'getting published' (as in getting papers accepted), but also about how to handle the mechanics of the publication process in a satisfactory and responsible way. So, over the next few weeks, I hope to contribute a series of posts dealing with some of the perhaps less 'glamorous' aspects of academic writing and publishing.
In order to get a better sense of what people are interested in, are there any aspects that readers would be especially keen to hear about?