what’s my line?

I was at a function this afternoon where I entered into conversation with a pleasant woman in her mid-twenties:

“So what do you do?”
“Most of my job is stalking professors.”

Quiz feature: What is her job?


Editorial assistant for a social science journal. The stalking she’s referring to is pestering faculty members not to be delinquent in doing their reviews. (Actually, as this post suggests, it’s not a phenomenon limited to professors, but professors are typically far concerned about observing review “deadlines” than graduate students are.)*

Apparently, she is very good at her job. In 2007, this journal has apparently not taken longer than three months to return any decision. (By contrast, the last three times I have submitted to a certain prominent sociology journal it has taken six months or more to get a verdict back, with varying outcomes.)

Indeed, as a weird coincidence, a collaborator had just that morning submitted to this same journal a paper on which I’m a co-author, and the editorial assistant proudly announced they had already come up with their list of 10 possible reviews and had 2 people from the list agree to do the reviews.

* BTW, for younger academic readers who find themselves hard to rouse to focused action in the absence of deadlines: something that becomes harder as you advance in academia is that the laxity around most deadlines becomes more plain and the non-calamity that will ensue from failing to meet most deadlines also becomes more plain, making deadlines generally an increasingly less effective nudge.

Additional bonus for following the jump: It’s possible that I may be signing on to something that would be a bit like editing a journal, only I think more interesting and fun. I can’t say more about it here yet, but I’m enthusiastic.

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

4 thoughts on “what’s my line?”

  1. I was going to say associate producer for the academic version of “What Not to Where”. You know, ’cause there’s that whole part where they spy on people (I went to high school with the person who does that for them).


  2. Yes! I knew it before the jump! I’m fairly certain I know the journal, too.

    What an interesting job, Carly. I’ve always wondered how they get all that footage.


  3. Given the number of times I get contacted by publishers (Sage, in particular) about teaching their books in my class, my initial thought was: she works for a publisher and I hate her. I have some unresolved anger issues to work through, clearly!


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