And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.
Ah, Thanksgiving is a great day to send off a paper, especially one that had developed a certain discomfiting, crushing-psychological-burden character to it. Of course, now I have to take up all the things I had kept at bay while working on it.
They say changing anything in academia is like moving a cemetery. (They say this because changing things in academia regularly involves overcoming nearly-insuperable institutional inertia, not because changing things in academia is a necrophile's bonanza.) Still, I can't help but wonder if somehow, someday, sociology might change its citation style for books. The style right now:
Healy, Kieran. 2006. Last Best Gifts: Altruism and the Market for Human Blood and Organs. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Obviously, you need to have the author's name, the year, the title of the book. The publisher, fine. But the city where the publisher is based? Why? Who has, in the past 10 years, made any use of that information for any purpose? What conceivably could it be used for? I'm tired of wasting time trying to figure out whether presses are based in New York or not. Guilford, yes. Westview, no (Boudler, CO). And when publishers move (e.g., Sage), do you use the location when the book was published (which would make no sense except its what's on the title page) or its current location?
Also, given that we are the discipline that teaches "if situations are defined as real, they are real in their consequences" in our intro classes, can't we maybe adopt a journal practice that would convey that we define ourselves to be doing importantly, timely, potentially scoopable work. Namely, printing the date submitted and date accepted on articles, like journals in all kinds of other disciplines that fancy having researchers who may sometimes discover things do.
Anyway, the albatross is off, and I'm done carping as well. Happy Thanksgiving!