Category Archives: Journal news

How do I get published in ROLSI?

A couple of years ago we published a blog of a roundtable between the editor and a group of CA scholars at Linköping University, discussing ROLSI’s editorial practices. One of those researchers, Professor Leelo Keevallik, is now the Associate Editor of the journal, and she and I are very pleased to revisit some of those issues. We’re very grateful indeed to Dr Marina Cantarutti, one of global CA’s most active and well-connected early career researchers, for posing us questions which will be of interest to all, but especially those who are submitting for the first time.

1. Marina Cantarutti (MC): What kind of feedback can I expect to receive from reviewers after I have submitted my article to the journal? 

Charles Antaki and Leelo Keevallik (Eds): In a word, quite a lot and at various level of detail. As editors, we choose reviewers who are knowledgeable about the subject, and they send us back very generous and closely engaged reviews, which can cover many pages – it’s not unusual for the full set of reviewers comments to stretch to 10 or more single spaced sheets. The comments will be generally about four things: the clarity with which the authors identify the phenomenon of the discussion; the novelty of the findings and the comprehensiveness with which they authors have integrated them into what we know about the issue; and, most importantly the sophistication and persuasiveness of the analysis.

2. MC: What are the steps to follow after a “revise and resubmit”? 

Eds. : 

Step 1 – Take a deep breath. You’re in, if only provisionally. Good.

Step 2 – Check whether the editors want minor, middling or major revisions. We put that right up front, so that you know in principle how much work you’re in for. Minor revisions at this stage are unusual, so what you’ll be asked to do will be something at least “middling” (that is, fairly substantial); and if it’s “major “, that will mean rolling your sleeves up and doing some significant work on the manuscript.

Step 3 – Read the editors’ decision letter; it will give you a pretty clear steer about the main topics emerging in the accompanying set of reviewers comments.

Step 4 – Read the reviewers’ comments carefully. ROLSI reviewers are always constructive, thoughtful and collegial; sometimes they will have things to say which may annoy, especially if they seem to have misunderstood what you said; if it gets too uncomfortable, leave it, and come back after you’re in a more conciliatory mood. (If there’s still something there which simply looks wrong or inappropriate, tell the editor so – see later).

3. MC: What would you say are the essential elements/components that a response to the reviewers after a request to “revise and resubmit” should have? 

Eds.: Whatever the scale of the revision, it will help your case, and endear you to editor and reviewers, if you set out your changes in a covering letter point by point or comment by comment, responding separately to all reviewers. Some people like to do this very explicitly in a table – column one for the number of the point, column two for the manuscript page to which the reviewer’s comment refers, column three for a quote from the review which summarises the reviewer’s point, and column four for an account of the change you’ve made that addresses it. That format isn’t necessary, but certainly whatever format you use, those are the things you should include. A full account of all your changes may well extend to a dozen pages and, as always, don’t forget to acknowledge the hard work by the reviewers. Once in a while, you might even want to thank them personally in the final paper, which can be arranged at a later stage, should the reviewer consent to reveal their identity.

Oh, and if you really want to get into our good books, make a “show changes” version of the document and send that along with the clean one.

4. MC: How do I respond to a reviewer… 

…who disagrees with the chosen method of analysis, or who shows little experience in the chosen methodology and the assumptions that underlie it? 

Eds. – Unlikely to be a problem in ROLSI; but certainly this can happen in journals which are unused to interactional analysis. However, it is always advisable to make your theoretical assumptions explicit, so as to ease reading by as many people as possible.

… who misunderstood one of the key points? 

Eds. – In the first revision, try to improve your writing, carefully considering what the reviewer understood wrong. If the problem persists after second review – say so to the editors. You are talking in the first instance to the editors, and they will be (comparatively) impartial, unless, in the covering letter, they have explicitly said that they agree with that part of the reviewer’s comments. If that is the case, then you may have a mountain to climb to persuade them. If not, then it’s a matter of making a good case and persuading the editors that you are right and the reviewer is wrong. It can happen.

… who suggests adding elements that if considered would lead to the paper exceeding the word limit

Eds. – Again, say so. But, again, if it’s something that we wanted in the covering letter, you would be well advised to follow our advice (we will usually suggest sacrificing some other part of the manuscript.)

… who suggests the inclusion of elements in the literature that are irrelevant to the current analysis, or which oppose the perspective taken? 

Eds. – Reconsider whether it is actually irrelevant, or would maybe make your case stronger and clearer (such as arguing for the merits of your perspective). If not, you would have a pretty good chance of arguing against that, unless the editors have backed the reviewer in the decision letter.

…who is spot-on a criticism that exposes one of the key findings as weak or untenable (and which requires admitting to a major weakness)? 

Eds. – Be strong and admit it, the analysis needs a major recalibration. After all, your paper hasn’t been rejected; the editors would’ve given you a way to proceed.

The CORE-ILCA website especially for early career researchers in Conversation Analysis and Interactional Linguitics

5. MC: What is the right (discursive) way of announcing/accounting for the pushing back on a suggestion? 

Eds.: Tact, collegiality, and a demonstration that you understand what the reviewer has said. They usually mean well, and may have misunderstood something, or just missed something on an earlier page, or whatever; appreciate what they have said, but give the editors reason to take your side rather than theirs. Often, you will find a reason to also build this “pushback” into your argument for your other readers.

6. MC: What are my chances of getting accepted if I stand my ground and push back on a number of key suggestions? 

Eds.: It depends enormously on your powers of persuasion. Here especially our editorial covering letter is important: it will have laid out what are effectively the non-negotiables unless (as, admittedly, has occasionally happened!) we the editors, like the reviewers, have simply misunderstood something. But assuming that we haven’t, then we will be quite hard to shift, also because we would have chosen the best possible reviewers.

7. MC: How much of the paper should be changed in the light of the reviewer’s comments?  

If I find new avenues of argument and analysis as a result of re-analysis or an enhanced lit review, to what extent can the new version stray away from the original as a result of addressing the comments?  

Eds.: It’s quite unusual for a paper to change quite so radically as that, and if it does then both reviewers and the editors will pick it up in the next round of reviewing. In the more root and branch examples, we will ask for the paper to be sent in as a fresh submission and you will then receive three new reviewers that are fitted to the new analysis. But in the normal run of events, “minor” revision will mean light touches here and there, “middling” revision substantive changes to at least one section, and “major” changes re-thinking and re-writing significant passages throughout the paper. It is quite common that the paper changes substantially after a revision and reorganization, so that the document with “track changes” will be bursting with colour.

8. MC: Is my revision likely to be accepted? If not, what happens next?

Eds.: If the original submission had only needed minor revisions, success is probable; middling or major ones – no guarantee. Depending on how the reviews pan out, and what the editors make of them, you might either get rejected at that point, or asked for some further revision (which would usually be fairly minor). It’s the first revision which is the crucial, make-or-break one. But if you’ve approached it in good faith, thought through the reviews, made the changes and given a good account of what you’ve done (and not done), then the chances are pretty good- much better than evens. Go for it!

Marina and colleagues ready to submit to ROLSI

A ROLSI Q&A (Part 2): What we publish, how we’ve changed

This is the second (and last, for the moment at least) report of the Q&A with colleagues in Linköping University. We covered a lot of ground about what ROLSI does and how it serves its readers – a very useful exercise.

Q (Linköping): What does the editorial team actually do?  Continue reading

A ROLSI Q&A (Part 1): Submissions, reviews, reviewers, revisions ..

In a collegial and wide-ranging discussion at Linköping University with Leelo Keevallik, Asta Cekaite, Nigel Musk, Ali Reza Majlesi and Mathias Broth, I was very happy to answer queries about ROLSI’s reviewing and decision-making. The Linköping group encompassed experienced and early-career researchers, established publishers and novices, expert senior reviewers and those just starting out. We all found it a useful experience, and we got together afterwards to prepare a set of notes that we think might be of interest to the broader ROLSI readership. Part 1 appears here; more later.


Part 1: Getting published Continue reading

Who ROLSI authors cite, and who cites ROLSI authors

Thomson-Reuters Web of Science generates a great deal of statistical information about journals, and one pair of stats might be of interest to ROLSI readers. Who (or rather which journals) do ROLSI authors cite? and who returns the favour?

This graphical image, taken from the Web of Science data on ROLSI, needs some decoding, but it illustrates some interesting points. Continue reading

Latest Citation Impact Factor Scores

Every year about this time Thompson-Reuters publishes a complete listing of academic journals’ citation record over the past two years. That is to say, how much the articles in a given journal have been cited in other articles (see footnote).

I’m delighted to say that ROLSI continues to be among the top journals in our end of the social sciences, and indeed has increased its rating. We now have a citation impact score of 2.90.

Continue reading

More ROLSI articles use images – but still a minority

Are we now publishing a great number of articles with images? I had casually formed the impression that more than half the articles in recent issues of ROLSI featured images of some kind. But on reflection this struck me as unlikely, so I decided to check – and while I was about it, to do a count from the earliest volumes I had to hand on my shelves.

ROLSI articles in total, and with images, per year since 1996

ROLSI articles in total, and with images, per year since 1996

The graph above tells the story.  As you can see, the number of images per volume (that is, per year) does grow, both relatively and absolutely. Continue reading

Most cited papers in three related journals

The table below is based on my own (admittedly arguable) categorisation of the articles that appear as the “20 most cited” on the publishers’ webpages for ROLSI, the Journal of Pragmatics and Discourse Studies in March 2015.

Most cited

What I notice is that those of ROLSI‘s articles that are most cited are almost all Conversation Analytic ones, perhaps reflecting the journal’s centre of gravity over the last decade. Discourse articles feature most in Discourse Studies, as might be expected, and the Journal of Pragmatics is by far the most eclectic. Interestingly enough, CA articles also make a good showing in these latter two journals as well as in ROLSI.

The current Editorial Board members

The current Board is composed of distinguished language-in-interaction experts with global reputations. We’re delghted to have representatives from, in alphabetical order, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA.

Charles Antaki
(Editor) Loughborough University, UK
Robert Arundale University of Alaska, USA
Mary Bucholtz University of California, Santa Barbara, USA Richard Buttny Syracuse University, USA
Donal Carbaugh University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA Steven Clayman University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen University of Helsinki, Finland Galina Bolden Rutgers University, USA
Paul Drew University of York, UK Andrea Golato Texas State University, USA
Anita Fetzer University of Stuttgart, Germany Kristine Fitch University of Iowa, USA
Phillip Glenn Emerson College, USA Charles Goodwin University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Leelo Keevallik Linkoping University, Sweden John Hellermann Portland State University, USA
John Heritage University of California, Los Angeles, USA Irene Koshik University Of Illinois At
Urbana-Champaign, USA
Curtis LeBaron Brigham Young University, USA Douglas Maynard University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Lorenza Mondada University of Basel, Switzerland Junko Mori University of Wisconsin-Madison , USA
Aug Nishizaka Chiba University, Tokyo, Japan Gerry Philipsen University of Washington, USA
Anssi Peräkylä Helsinki University, Finland Robert Sanders University at Albany, SUNY, USA
Emanuel Schegloff University of California, Los Angeles, USA Jakob Steensig University of Aarhus, Denmark
Tanya Stivers University of California, Los Angeles, USA Jan Svennevig University of Oslo, Norway
Johanna Ruusuvuori Tampere University, Finand Karen Tracy University of Colorado at Boulder, USA

Five new members of the Editorial Board

We are delighted and honoured to announce five new members of the Editorial Board (as from April 2015).

Each is a distinguished expert in her or his field of language in interaction, and each has already performed sterling service in providing the journal with outstandingly thorough, scholarly and constructive reviews of submissions. Welcome to:

Galina Bolden (Rutgers University, USA) Portraits of Faculty & Staff or SCILS
Andrea Golato (Texas State University, USA) golato
Leelo Keevallik (Linköping University, Sweden) keevallik
Anssi Peräkylä (Helsinki University, Finland) perakyla
Johanna Ruusuvuori (Tampere University, Finland) ruusuvuori

Which journals cite ROLSI (and vice versa)?

The Thompson-Reuters Web of Knowledge gives a great deal of bibliographic data about journals. I find these two graphical images intriguing: they show where ROLSI is cited (on thetop), and what journals ROLSI cites (at the bottom). Data are from the 2012-2013 period.

You’ll see that there’s a fair amount of self-citation, but that otherwise the biggest partner is the Journal of Pragmatics. What is perhaps surprising, and pleasing, is the number and variety of journals in which ROLSI is cited (lower image) – they range from the Negotiation Journal to the International Journal of Bilingualism. That shows the range of interest that ROLSI articles generate.