Wednesday, 26 December 2012


Yep, it's Boxing Day, and I started work on the journal at 7.30am. Sad, right? But a few things make it totally worthwhile: the people I work with on the journal (they in fact carry the majority of the load, more of which below), the science, the generosity of the people who review the 900+ submissions we receive each year (930 this year so far), and the following statistics: Cognition ranks 15th in Psychology overall (which may not seem like much, but when one looks at the journals that are above it, and the others below it, it is a big deal!), and it ranks 4th in Cognitive Science (same logic - it's a big deal!). Different journals serve different functions - some are review journals, some publish quick 'snapshots' of research, and some (like Cognition) publish full articles describing the original research in detail. We're pretty near the top of the pile if one just considers this latter category. I wouldn't be writing about these statistics if they weren't impressive. 

The things that make it less worthwhile include the huge load on the Associate Editors and myself. I personally handle one new manuscript every single day of the year, seven days a week, come rain or shine, regardless of holidays, illness, personal circumstances, teaching, administration, research.... The AEs each individually handle one new manuscript each 4-5 days. I actually believe I am the only editor on the journal (there's myself and, on a good day, 8 AEs) who gets no reduction in teaching or administration from their host department. How I get any research done remains a mystery (though not to my collaborators, who in fact do all the hard work). And how I manage to keep up with the journal workload is also a mystery. Actually, it's not... I don't. There are things that slip. We can only be machines some of the time, and the rest of the time, we lose power, and need a bit of maintenance. But there is a quick remedy (the equivalent of pouring rocket fuel into the engine instead of the regular kind): chocolate, and family: taken together. Stirred rather than shaken, and most definitely not on the rocks.