[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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