I have to confess: I am on a high right now. The reason is because I just got my paper published.
Yesterday, a FedEx envelope arrived. It contained a couple of documents regarding the publishing of my paper. Documents such as a certificate that states that my article has been examined to fulfill all the relevant criteria, and that it will be published and printed in **insert journal name here** in early 2007.
It also contained a document that I needed to sign stating that I am releasing editing rights of the article, which pertains to publishing only, but not to content. In short, all the legal stuff that had to accompany the publishing process.
So, with that in mind, I am on a high. An academic high. I don't need a controlled substance for my euphoria, all I need is to publish a paper.
So, let me tell you how to publish a paper. Paper Publishing 101 then this entry will be.
So, you start by doing research. In my case, this was about a semester, between June 2004 to October 2004. The output was a thesis, my undergraduate thesis to be precise.
Next, you find a conference to attend. In order to attend that conference, I had to revise my thesis and transform it into an academic article. Thus, from a hundred fifty something pages, I squeezed 35 pages out of it, making it concise and direct to the point. I then presented that paper in the conference. This was around June 2005.
Then, hope that the institution hosting the conference will publish the proceedings, in my case, it did. So I was given a few months to edit my paper after receiving the comments I received in the conference. I had until October 2005 to finish editing it. Then I should submit an edited draft.
My paper will then be read by anonymous reviewers. This is what the academia calls "peer-reviewing", in which scholars who work in the same area as the topic of your paper will read your paper and give comments to it. They should be unknown to the author though, and the reviewers should also not be of acquaintance to the author. This avoids bias. The criticisms that were given by the anonymous reviewers will then be sent to the author and the author should edit his paper accordingly, or defend his position if he thinks that the criticism is invalid. During the process, the editor acts as the mediator; the editor is the only one who knows who is reviewing who. In my case, I had three reviewers, and the whole process took until June 2006.
After I satisfied my reviewers, I would have to submit a final draft. The editor would then read it, proofread it, and then if everything is clear, it will be submitted to publishing. If everything is clear, then the author will receive a certificate saying that everything is ok, and the article will then go to the press. In my case, I received this certification September 2006.
The printing will then commence, and it will be out early 2007.
So, if you look at the timeline, from the start of research up to the publishing, it took me three years.
Amazing, isn't it?