My suspicions of yesterday are confirmed. Today I got hold of the full version of the Journal of Risk Research article, and it’s all my words. Yippee!! It’s interesting to see the changes the journal made. They shortened the abstract by a whole paragraph, changed most of the headings and sub-headings and corrected some capitalisation. After that, it’s all what I wrote 🙂
Why it matters – a lot
It’s especially important at the moment because I’m working on a re-purposed version of the same paper destined for another journal. Without me seeing it first, this one was sent out, and has been returned with reviewers comments (I guess I should be happy about that). However, the reviewers comments include this one:
The paper needs to be rewritten. The writing is stylistically awkward. Moreover, there are many punctuation problems. I strongly recommend that the text is copyedited by an editor / native speaker.
When I first read this my heart sank. I was the copyeditor for much of the content. I hadn’t seen exactly this version of the text before, but large chunks of it have been lifted from the earlier work that I had corrected. [BTW, I’m wondering if this is self-plagiarism, and if it is, should I be worried? Questions for another day.]
crashed and burned
At this point (without knowing that the original article had been published) I was at a bit of a loss to know what to do. I’d given it my best shot, I’d thought it was good, but it seemed it still wasn’t good enough. My credibility (and career) as an editor appeared to be crashing and burning. It was quite a blow.
Then two things happened. First, I read the new article in detail and discovered that the author had added a couple of pages of new content, written in his own, idiosyncratic style. He’d also added the odd (in all senses) sentence here and there to ‘my’ bits of the text. Next, yesterday, joy of joys, I discovered the published version of the original article. Even if Reviewer #2 is talking about my text (although that seems less likely now that I’ve read the whole thing), The Journal of Risk Management thinks it’s good enough to publish as is. Pah! Take that Reviewer #2 and stuff it up your jumper!
Yippee yippee yippee I aye 🙂 Happy happy happy dance 🙂