Now that you’ve submitted your paper to the ASAs, how can you turn it into a publication? Two ideas. First, if it is nifty and about social movements, please consider submitting it a special issue of Mobilization that I’m putting together. Deadline is Friday, January 11th.
Second, you should stop calling it a “paper” and start calling it an “article.” Seriously. You might also want to ditch wishy-washy words like: seeks, attempts, looks, and presents. Instead, have hypotheses, analysis and results with consistent, positive effect sizes. And certainly delete the word preliminary. At least that is what
the data suggests we find.
While procrastinating from doing my ASA submissions, I downloaded all the ASA abstracts from the last ten years. It turns out that the search feature allows some fairly common words and you can trick it into returning your results 5,000 at a time. I extracted the abstract text of presentations since 2007. This totals 18,710 abstracts. I think this is just about everything that was submitted and accepted to a section session, regular session or roundtable. I then pulled the abstracts for articles published in the last five years in seven general interest sociology journals (Sociological Inquiry, Sociological Perspectives, Social Science Research, Sociological Spectrum, Social Forces, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology and Social Problems.) from Web of Science. This totals 1,616 published articles.
The analysis part is pretty simple.* For all words that were used in at least 50 different abstracts, I counted what proportion of ASA presentation abstracts had that word, and what proportion of published articles had that word. If a word appears in much higher proportion of ASA presentation abstracts than in abstracts from published articles, you might want to think about revising the way you present your contribution or look for different publication venues.
So here’s the list of words that you might want to avoid in revising your paper if you are interested in publishing in a general interest sociology journal:
Here’s some words you might want to add:
Feel free to make sense of the difference in the comments. Me, I’ll be busy revising our
paper article. It turns out it screams presentation.
* If this analysis looks familiar, I did a similar one last year where I compared abstracts in high and low visibility journals.