science pile

Failure Is An Option

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Publishing in peer-reviewed journals is hard. It’s also highly arbitrary. Here’s an abridged version of my CV that shows where each book and paper was rejected prior to publication.

I published 31 papers before mostly giving up on journal publishing. One of these was invited; I exclude it from my tallies. Five out of 30 papers (17%) were accepted at the first journal I submitted to. The mean paper was submitted to 2.33 journals prior to publication. Ten papers were rejected by four or more journals before being published. This includes my second-most cited paper (cited 278 times, rejected by five journals), published in Journal of Higher Education. My third-most cited paper, published in Demography, was rejected by three journals and has been cited 185 times. My record is a paper published in 1999 in Gender Issues that was first rejected at seven journals. Two of these rejections, at Gender & Society and Social Problems, came after invitations to revise and resubmit.

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Certainly my numbers are higher because I first submitted to top journals. I’ve had ten rejections at American Sociological Review, nine at American Journal of Sociology, and nine at Journal of Marriage and Family. I’ve never published a paper in any of these, despite a total of five invitations to revise and resubmit.

Books

Under contract. The Changing Economics of Single Motherhood (working title). New York: Oxford University Press (with M. McKeever).

  1. Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love and Marriage among African Americans and Latinos. New York: Oxford University Press (with W. B. Wilcox).

–      proposal rejected by other presses

2013. Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press (with M. A. Mason & M. Goulden).

–      proposal rejected by 15+ other presses

  1. Understanding the Divorce Cycle: The Children of Divorce in Their Own Marriages. New York: Cambridge University Press.

proposal rejected by 15+ presses

–    manuscript rejected by Stanford University Press while under contract

2015. Fragile Families and the Marriage Agenda. New York: Springer (edited, with L. Kowaleski-Jones).

– proposal and complete book rejected by other presses, including one after verbal commitment to publish

Publications in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Note: In all but one instance, rejections after R&Rs came after I resubmitted. In the aforementioned instance, I declined to resubmit.

  1. “One Nation, Divided: What Role Do Culture, Religion, and Civic Institutions Play in the Retreat from Marriage and the Marriage Divide in America?” The Future of Children 25:111-127 (with W. B. Wilcox and C. E. Stokes). Invited publication.

 

  1. “Attitudes toward Marriage, Divorce, Cohabitation, and Casual Sex among Working-Age Latinos: Does Religion Matter?” Journal of Family Issues 34:295-322 (with C. G. Ellison and A. I. Ramos-Wada).

 

 

  1. “Broken Boundaries or Broken Marriages? Racial Intermarriage and Divorce.” Social Science Quarterly 92:1096-1117 (with V. K. Fu).

 

  • Social Science Research, two reviews

 

2011 . “Parental Divorce and Offspring Religious Behavior: Evidence from the General Social Survey.” Review of Religious Research 53: 85-103 (with H.-H. Lau).

 

  • Sociology of Religion
  • Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

 

  1. “More Evidence for Trends in the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce: A Completed Cohort Approach Using Data from the General Social Survey.” Demography 48:581-592, three reviews, some dickering with editor.

 

  1. “Thanks for Nothing: Income and Labor Force Participation for Never-Married Mothers.” Social Science Research 40:63-76 (with M. McKeever), three reviews.

 

  • American Journal of Sociology
  • American Sociological Review, two reviews
  • Demography
  • Social Forces

 

  1. “Joint Physical Custody and Neighborhood Friendships in Middle Childhood.” Sociological Inquiry 81:247-259 (with A. Prazen, L. Kowaleski-Jones, and C. Cahill), two reviews.

 

  • Qualitative Sociology, not sent out for review
  • Journal of Marriage and Family

 

  1. “Alone in the Ivory Tower: How Birth Events Vary among Fast-Track Professionals.” Journal of Family Issues 31:1652-1670 (with M. A. Mason and M. Goulden), two reviews.

 

  • Demography
  • Journal of Marriage and Family

 

  1. “Bendito Amor (‘Blessed Love’): Religion and Relationships among Married and Unmarried Latinos in Urban America.” Under review, Social Science Quarterly 3:171-188 (with W. B. Wilcox and E. I. Hernández), one review.

 

  • Journal of Family Issues, two reviews
  • Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
  • Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, three reviews
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Social Science Quarterly

 

  1. “‘Stay in the Game’: Gender, Family Formation, and Alternative Trajectories in the Academic Life Course.” Social Forces (with M. A. Mason and M. Goulden), accepted after appeal, three reviews. 
  • American Journal of Sociology
  • American Sociological Review

 

  1. “Happily Ever After? Religion, Marital Status, Gender, and Relationship Quality in Urban Families.” Social Forces 86:1311-1337 (with W. B. Wilcox), two reviews.

 

  • American Sociological Review

 

  1. “Family Structure and Voter Turnout.” Social Forces 86:1513-1528 (with R. E. Wolfinger), two reviews.

 

  • American Sociological Review

 

  1. “Problems in the Pipeline: Gender, Marriage, and Fertility in the Ivory Tower.” The Journal of Higher Education 79:388-405 (with M. A. Mason and M. Goulden), two reviews.

 

  • American Journal of Sociology
  • American Sociological Review
  • Social Forces
  • Harvard Educational Review
  • Work and Occupations

 

  1. “Living and Loving “Decent”: Religion and Relationship Quality among Urban Parents.” Social Science Research 37:828–843 (with W. B. Wilcox), two reviews.

 

– Declined to resubmit at Journal of Marriage and Family after second review

 

 

  1. “Family Structure Transitions and Child Achievement.” Sociological Spectrum 28:681-704 (with K. A. Shaff, L. Kowaleski-Jones, and K. Smith), one review.

 

  • Journal of Marriage and Family
  • Journal of Family Issues, two reviews

 

  1. “Then Comes Marriage? Religion and Marriage in Urban America.” Social Science Research 36:569-589 (with W. B. Wilcox), three reviews.

 

  • American Journal of Sociology
  • Social Forces
  • American Sociological Review
  • Demography

 

  1. “Does the Rebound Effect Exist? Time to Remarriage and Subsequent Union Stability.” Journal of Divorce & Remarriage 46:9-20, one review.

 

  • Demography
  • Journal of Marriage and Family
  • Journal of Family Issues

 

  1. “Double Impact: What Sibling Data Can Tell Us about the Negative Effects of Parental Divorce.” Social Biology 50:58-76 (with L. Kowaleski-Jones and K. Smith), one review. 
  • Demography
  • Journal of Marriage and Family
  • Journal of Family Issues
  • Social Science Quarterly

 

  1. “Parental Divorce and Offspring Marriage: Early or Late?” Social Forces 82:337-353, accepted after appeal, two reviews.

 

  • American Journal of Sociology
  • American Sociological Review
  • Demography
  • Journal of Marriage and Family

 

  1. “Family Structure Homogamy: The Effects of Parental Divorce on Partner Selection and Marital Stability.” Social Science Research 32:80-97, one review. 
  • American Journal of Sociology, two reviews
  • American Sociological Review
  • Demography
  • Journal of Marriage and Family

 

  1. “Stepparents: De Facto Parents or Legal Strangers?” Journal of Family Issues 23:507-522 (with M. A. Mason, S. H. Jay, and G. Messick-Svare), one review.

 

  • Journal of Marriage and Family 
  1. “On Writing Field Notes: Background Expectancies and Collection Strategies.” Qualitative Research 2:85-95, one review.

 

  • Reprinted in Ethnographic Discourse, edited by P. Atkinson and S. Delamont (London: Sage, 2008) & elsewhere
  • Journal of Contemporary Ethnography

 

  1. “The Effects of Family Structure of Origin on Offspring Cohabitation Duration.” Sociological Inquiry 71:293-313, one review.

 

  • Journal of Family Issues
  • American Journal of Sociology

 

  1. “Reexamining the Economic Consequences of Marital Disruption for Women.” Social Science Quarterly 82:202-217 (with M. McKeever), accepted after appeal, two reviews.

 

  • Demography
  • Journal of Marriage and Family, two reviews
  • Journal of Human Resources
  • Social Forces

 

  1. “Beyond the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce: Do People Replicate the Patterns of Marital Instability They Grew Up With?” Journal of Family Issues 21:1061-1086, two reviews.

 

  • American Sociological Review
  • Social Science Research, three reviews

 

  1. “Trends in the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce.” Demography 36:415-420, three reviews.

 

  • American Sociological Review
  • American Journal of Sociology, two reviews
  • Social Forces, two reviews

 

  1. “The Different Voices of Helping: Gender Differences in Recounting Dilemmas.” Gender Issues 17:70-86 (with J. Rabow and D. Newcomb), one review.

 

  • Social Psychology Quarterly
  • Gender and Society, two reviews
  • Harvard Educational Review
  • Signs
  • Feminist Review
  • Symbolic Interaction
  • Social Problems, two reviews

 

  1. “The Effects of Parental Divorce on Adult Tobacco and Alcohol Consumption.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 39:254-270, one review.

 

  1. “The Different Voices of Gender: Social Recognition.” Current Research in Social Psychology 2:50-65 (with J. Rabow), one review.

 

  • Social Psychology Quarterly
  • Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
  • Psychology of Women Quarterly
  • Journal of Language and Social Psychology

 

  1. “Passing Moments: Some Social Dynamics of Pedestrian Interaction.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 24:323-340, two reviews.

 

  1. “Reexamining Personal and Situational Factors in Drunk Driving Interventions.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 24:1627-1639 (with J. Rabow and M. D. Newcomb), one review.

 

Other Publications First Rejected Elsewhere

 

  1. “Shifting Fortunes in a Changing Economy: Trends in the Economic Well-Being of Divorced Women.” Pp. 127-157 in Fragile Families and the Marriage Agenda, edited by L. Kowaleski-Jones and N. H. Wolfinger. New York: Springer (with M. McKeever).

 

  • American Journal of Sociology
  • American Sociological Review
  • Demography

 

 

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