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I would suggest keeping a balance of projects including (i) some that can be completed in a timely fashion, and (ii) some that may develop in unexpected ways (or not at all). It is important especially early in your career, to publish on a regular basis (though not excessively). You often need publications for promotions and raises. But I have often had to set projects aside until I had the conceptual and other resources. The other important part of publishing regularly is developing a research project. Once I have a few publications on a topic, I can begin to think of the broader issue. And this perspective can lead to some creative insights.


I tend to prioritise commitments to other people. First, I’ll do peer reviews, and comments on drafts people send me. If we all reviewed things we’d agreed to in a timely manner, the publishing side of the profession would be a lot less painful. Second anything with a co-author needs to be prioritised, as they depend on you to do your bit. Third, I’ll finish papers that I’ve committed to edited collections and special issues - you don’t want to be that one author who holds up the whole volume. After that, yes, I’ll do what is most exciting or what I have the most momentum on. Sometimes that leads to lots of drafts, some times I have to sit down and finish things!

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