[Question] How does publishing a paper work?

While I’ve never published a research paper and have no plans to do so, I realized I don’t even know how the process works. These are the bits and pieces I think I know (probably wrong about some):

  • Papers are annoying 2-column pdfs

  • Getting a paper published takes a lot of work beyond the research itself

  • When a paper has multiple collaborators or a student/​professor relationship, there’s an awkward political negotiation about whose name is included and whose name goes first, last, or in the middle of the list

  • There are multiple journals you can submit to and maybe none will accept you, or maybe you’ll get multiple offers and then I don’t know if you have to pick one at most

  • When you submit a paper to a journal, the journal sends it out to your peers who submit anonymous feedback before publishing, which seems like more trouble than it’s worth these days because the peers might be slow or unfair, or be playing a zero-sum game competing with you

  • Many academic conferences have their own associated journals which you can submit papers to and in some cases getting accepted to that conference-journal means you get to give a talk at that conference

  • Paid-access journals currently have a monopoly on high-status research publication, and academia is stuck in this local maximum that’s hard to dislodge without a coordinated effort to agree on how to publish in a high-status place that isn’t a paid journal, and in the meantime the journals get to rent-seek in a way that tragically/​comically undermines the ideal of academic research not being a capitalist enterprise

  • arXiv is a place where you can upload papers for free and people can download them for free, thereby bypassing the journals to some degree

  • Sci-hub lets anyone illegally download pirated papers that normally require access to a paid journal

  • Publishing papers is a valuable thing to do because it gives the content of the paper and its author(s) a certain social legitimacy, and allows future research to frictionlessly cite your findings

Can someone confirm or correct my impressions, and elaborate on any other interesting parts?

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