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Re: Abstracts, evidence, and disappointment
Non-professional paleontologists usually forget one important point.
It takes a year, if not more, before that the submitted paper is finally
published in a specialistic journal. Your manuscript must be reviewed by 2
or more specialists. They are not paied for this time-consuming task and
you cannot ask them to review faster. Sometimes your manuscript gets lost
or one referee dies or has health troubles etc. Sometimes the reviewer
hates you or is envious of your work(I am sorry, this is not politically
correct, but it happens, sometimes) and this is a problem for the
acceptance of your manuscript. If you are lucky enough (and your work is
worth of), the manuscript is accepted for publication, but you must modify
it (very rarely a manuscript is accepted without at least minor
modifications; the reviewer must justify his existence as such). Therefore,
you must modify it and send it again to the journal. Often you must argue
against the observations of the referees (you spent years on your
manuscript and the referees sometimes read superficially and judge it in
just few ours). Then there is the galley proof stage (some journals send up
to 3 proofs) and you must carefully correct mistakes. This takes time.
Rewieved manuscripts and proofs are sent by mail, thus if you are European
or African and you wish to publish in an USA journal you waste time (or
money or both time and money) just for corresponding with the editors of
Another observation for non-professionals: it is very difficult that a mere
description of a fossil (which, anyway, is not so easy if you try) is
accepted in a specialistic journal. You must obtain important conclusions
from it (taxonomical, morphofunctional, paleogeographical etc.), and
reaching reliable conclusions (at least in order to avoid rejection of the
paper) needs a lot of work.
This is a job, a wonderful job for someone, but a job.
Futhermore, at least here in Italy, paleontologists working in museums are
not paied to study and describe fossils. If they publish a specimen they
are not paied more nor they are fired out if they do not publish.
If they describe a fossil it is only because they love paleontology.
All the best
Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia
Museo Paleontologico Cittadino
Via Valentinis 134
I34074 Monfalcone (GO)