Journal Submissions, Part 2: Setting (Higher) Standards for Evaluations

This is the second post in a two-part series on the evaluation process for articles submitted to journals. In this first post, I (RDH) described a few of my more colourful experiences in the publishing game. In this second post, we offer our thoughts on the flip-side: the task of the reviewer/editorial board member. We recognize that there are editors and reviewers who excel and we commend them for their hard work. These comments are not in any way aimed at them. Indeed, even for those editors or reviewers who behave in ways similar to what we described in the first post, since it is unlikely that our views will matter to them, these comments are not aimed at them. Rather, as with all our posts on this blog, we hope to provoke a bit of rumination among younger scholars who will one day be editors or reviewers (and at whose mercy we may find ourselves some day!)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Modern Scholarship. Tags: , . Comments Off on Journal Submissions, Part 2: Setting (Higher) Standards for Evaluations

Journal Submissions, Part 1: Experiencing the (Often Unjustifiably Painful) Evaluations

This is the first post in a two-part series on the evaluation process for articles submitted to journals. [Update: the second part has been posted.] In this first post, I (RDH) will describe a few of my more colourful experiences in the publishing game. In the second post, we (RDH and JAC) will offer our thoughts on the flip-side: the task of the reviewer/editorial board member. The numerous difficult experiences I’ve (RDH) had in getting articles accepted have decisively informed my behaviour as a board member and ad hoc reviewer. For John, the authorial experiences have been happier, but besides serving as an ad hoc reviewer he’s also seen the publishing issues from the “other side” in his former work as an editor. Both posts together serve as our appeal for editors and reviewers to—at the same time— impose more rigorous standards and make sure submissions are reviewed carefully and objectively.

Read the rest of this entry »

“On their own terms”: Book Goals and Book Reviews

What follows may seem to depart from our stated purpose on the blog to maintain a tight focus on issues of ancient Hebrew grammar. However, since it concerns writing projects in which we are both involved, it seemsrelatedclosely enough for the departure to avoid being an egregious one.

In her 2002OTL commentary on Lamentations(Louisville:WJK), Adele Berlin observed that “a commentary need not be encyclopedic” (ix). Given the massive history of scholarship on every biblical book, which seems to increase exponentially every year, she was wise, in my opinion, to avoid representing “every interpretation put forth or every issue debated in the scholarly literature.” Taking the position that “a commentary gets its character from what is selected for comment, both from the text and from the secondary literature,” she flatly states what her approach is and leaves the rest for others.

Read the rest of this entry »