A ‘controversial’ journal

It seems that less-than-reputable publishers infect the entire spectrum of writing.  Apparently academic writers are targeted by journals which maybe have slightly lower standards than might be desired, and which charge hefty fees to publish accepted articles.

Here’s an excerpt from the Wikipedia article of a particularly illuminating example:

In 2005, two scientists, David Mazières and Eddie Kohler, wrote a paper titled Get me off Your Fucking Mailing List and submitted it to WMSCI 2005 (the 9th World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics), a conference then notorious for its spamming and lax standards for paper acceptance, in protest of same.[6] The paper consisted essentially only of the sentence “Get me off your fucking mailing list” repeated many times.[7]

In 2014, after receiving a spam email from the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology, Peter Vamplew forwarded Mazières’ and Kohler’s old paper as an acerbic response.[8] To Vamplew’s surprise, the paper was reviewed, rated as “excellent” by the journal’s peer-review process and accepted for publication.[8][5] The paper was not actually published as Vamplew declined to pay the required $150 article processing fee.[8] This case has led commenters to question the legitimacy of the journal as an authentic scholarly undertaking.[1][2][5][8]

Don’t you just love the understatement in the last line?



© Gloria Hanlon 2016 All Rights Reserved

Photo for illustration purposes only



I’m thinking a lot about genres these days.  A lot of what I’ve been writing has a paranormal tint to it, although that’s not really something I would buy for myself to read, unless it was also humorous or had another hook that appealed to me.

They say it’s important to be genre aware; I presume that’s a big factor in being able to successfully sell stories and keep selling them.  And yet part of me is pushing back hard against that idea, and saying that I should write what I most enjoy reading.  What I most enjoy reading are the kind of works that twist genre expectations, or float between them in a space of their own.  The kind that move unpredictably and make you think about the subject matter in a new way.

I wrote a story this morning.  It was deliberately not paranormal.  It was just a story about getting older, and losing the abilities you take for granted.  I worry about that from time to time.  I don’t know if it ended up being a good story – I’m still too close to it at the moment – but it’s a little bit different, and a little bit sad.

I’m sure I’ll revisit the subject of genres, there’s a lot I need to work through here.  In the meantime I’ll keep writing down the stories that keep me awake, and that will have to be good enough for now.


© Gloria Hanlon 2016 All Rights Reserved

Feeling submissive?

I submitted a story for publication today.  Well, that was a terrifying experience!  I must have read the instructions 10 times before I felt certain I’d done them all correctly, and they weren’t exactly complicated.  Have screenshotted the confirmation, and now I need to sit and wait.

Best possible outcome, I get a story published!  Worst outcome, I start my collection of rejections.  My rejection collection, if you will.  Ok, absolutely worst outcome, my story triggers some sort of secret American keyword monitoring and a bunch of helicopters surround my house during the night and a bunch of men in some sort of black lycra outfits drag me and my family out into the street…

Yes, as you can see I’m taking this all in my stride like a true professional.  Now, where did I leave the rum?