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Annette L. Ranft and Anne D. Smith

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Annette L. Ranft and Anne D. Smith

This famous quote – ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’ – by ice hockey Hall of Fame player Wayne Gretzky captures what we want to address in this short chapter: the need to get your papers out and under review! Let’s be clear – we are not advocating against getting friendly reviews or feedback from conferences in order to strengthen your paper. (In our roles as associate editors, we have certainly seen many desk rejects of papers that needed much more work before submission.) Yet, just as some may have the propensity to submit to a journal too soon, we know there are others who are slow to send their manuscripts to a journal, if they send them at all. These are researchers who take weeks, months or years to tinker with a manuscript, scrapping whole sections or the entire paper, collecting more data, reading one more book or stream of research, and/or rethinking the theoretical frame. We are addressing our comments to these colleagues whom we know well – those who are tinkerers, perfectionists, slow, or simply never ‘take a shot’ by sending a paper to a journal. We have found that this paralyzing stultification can occur at many points in a career – from a first-year assistant professor who is no longer focused on deadlines imposed by a dissertation chair, to a senior researcher who has endured a spate of harsh, negative reviews about his or her stream of research or methodological approach. Our objective in this chapter is to articulate why getting a paper under review is critical. We provide suggestions to help overcome the tendency to hold on to a manuscript.

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Taco H. Reus, Kimberly M. Ellis, Bruce T. Lamont and Annette L. Ranft