Comment by a well-known sociologist and friend on Facebook:
“We have turned from a discipline of article writers into a discipline of revision memo writers. This is a very sad thing.”
This concerns me, too. But what can be done? I’ve wondered if memos could be capped, but not sure if that would end up as routinely ignored as the page limits on ASA papers.
Thing is, my belief–and I’m very confident I’m not alone in this–is that long memos work. I’ve even said things like, “You need to write a shock-and-awe memo” (along with doing the actual revisions to the actual paper). But of course I think the discipline as a whole would benefit by maximizing the research time spent on the research products themselves, and not unpublished memoranda about those products.
UPDATE: An obvious answer to “What can be done?” is “Reduce the number of R&Rs” and/or “Promote non-R&R-giving outlets like Sociological Science and As Yet Untitled.” And, yes. But, is that it?