First posted at Progressive Geographies:
My experience with academic publishing is dispiriting. Mostly
editors and so-called peer reviewers don't like (my) thinking,
but demand standard scientific or scholarly discourse instead.
The lesson: Don't rock the academic boat. Don't challenge
orthodoxy in its infinite variety and complacency. Academic
publishing is a rigged game. Academics (thankfully, I'm not one)
have to publish in well-reputed journals or by a well-reputed
publisher to get ahead in their careers by boosting their
who-status as somewho purportedly worth listening to, who gets a
pat on the back from colleagues.
The academic scholar has to submit to the publisher's rules and,
these days, often even has to pay for the review and editing
process, or the printing, him/herself. Academic reputation has a
monetary price. The publisher then locks up the textual product
behind a pay-wall. For a single short article today's standard
prices are around USD30 up to USD50 or EUR40. At that price, your
article doesn't get into wide circulation to polish your
reputation. Those citing it are largely those with a pre-paid
institutional access, i.e. those with some more or less modest
position of power in an academic institution. They're the ones
who have a say in whether your career flourishes or withers on
the vine. Keep the club closed for the initiated. Apart from
gouging academic authors in reputational need, the whole
who-game stinks, serving as it does to keep thinking within
bounds already established by some institutional power play or
other. Maybe you're lucky or clever enough to be swimming along
in one of the current streams, whether main or subsidiary. Just
be prepared for disappointment and exclusion if you try to think
anything hitherto unheard of.
So academic publishing is one more instance of how the gainful game can be played. The latter is infinitely versatile. The quest to see more clearly pursued by the precious few, too, is a power play with winners and losers.
Further on the gainful game as a socio-ontological constellation.