mini-rant: please, number your freaking pages

I just sent back a review that was way, way overdue. In the period between when I was sent the paper to review and now, I reviewed at least seven other manuscripts for journals, in addition to 20-odd proposals for NSF, and turned around comments on various other papers outside the review comment.

Why did it take me this long to review the paper?  Sure, the big part of the answer is me and more poor time and task-queue management, but, well, peer reviewing is volunteer work and I’m already doing plenty of it. Part of the answer that was within the author’s control: it didn’t number its pages. I printed out the paper and, started it a couple of different times, but then I got confused as I was going back and forth with the tables which pages went with what and, well, it ended up going to the bottom of my pile.  I finally went back and sorted the pages and numbered them myself in ink.

I already have a rule about not reading manuscripts that aren’t double-spaced. Forthwith, I’m adding lack of page numbers to the list. Life is too short already.

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.

3 thoughts on “mini-rant: please, number your freaking pages”

  1. Line numbers are even better than page numbers! I much prefer writing “lines 262-263” instead of “the middle of the 4th paragraph on page 12” or somesuch.

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