Only six months in, and already messing up

I found out today that I’ve been assigned a couple of manuscripts as an editor, and I have not received any notification about them at all. These manuscript central systems (and equivalents) suck so badly. Whenever I am asked to review something in these systems, I get a hundred reminders, but when I’m assigned to manuscript, I may or may not get notified. I only found out that I messed up today – a couple of weeks overdue – when I was notified about a resubmission of another manuscript I have been editing. Another mystery manuscript was awaiting me, unnoticed, and therefore dressed in red, and surrounded by warning signs and red flags. Oops. I don’t get it. What a shitty system. Seriously, how hard can it be to design a system that works, and notifies people that they have an editorial job to fulfill… You can’t really expect people to check in all the time to figure out the status of everything. I – and this must be true for other editors too – have better things to do.

Anyway, I’ve now learned the hard way that slow responses to submissions do not always mean that editors are lazy. It’s probably more likely that the system sucks. Maybe they haven’t even been notified. Or maybe I’m naive, and some editors really suck balls, too.

Usually I would work my ass off to try and make up for the lost time. The guilt would eat me up. I felt a bit different, however, about these two. In this time of the year, I will lift the queued manuscripts over the holidays. Nope, I’m not going to look for reviewers a couple of days before Christmas. What a waste of time. Reviewers need a break, too. I’m certainly not going to look into manuscripts myself. (Although that’s not a waste of time, of course.) But I don’t feel like it. It’s been a rough enough year already, and I deserve my holiday, too.

I’ll check back in with my red-flagged manuscripts in January. I’ll try to be better. I think… Or maybe I’m already turning into ‘one of those’ editors. I hope not.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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