Monday 29 June 2009

Academic Writing

I’ve just had a paper I gave at a conference rejected for publication. It was peer reviewed by two people. Fair enough.
However, I’m not sure that some of their arguments stand up. And knowing what I know, built on at least five years’ intensive study, there are certain matters I am certain about.
You see, they dispute my statement that there was an explosion of Young Adult literature at the turn of the century. I am not saying that it didn’t exist before. It most certainly did – Little Women, Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahe, Das Brot der frühen Jahren etc. My own research says as much – and we are talking here of a rigorously tested Ph D thesis. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that something explosive happened in the late 90s and early 2000s, partly commercially driven.
Possibly part of the problem was that I was trying to condense a large body of knowledge into a few words. Maybe a mistake.
And I find myself disagreeing, quite strongly, with some of the comments that the peer reviewers have made. Do I actually know more than they do? Is it just that I have expressed myself clumsily?
I wonder how people react to the comments I make when I peer review?

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