In 2010, I had an article accepted by a scholarly journal outside of my immediate discipline. (I had reasons to want to publish there that I won’t go into in this post.)
The article was accepted but because of the financial constraints many universities are experiencing, the publication of the journal’s new issues kept getting delayed. Articles that are accepted for publication don’t count for tenure. Only the articles that have actually appeared in print do. This makes sense because nowadays a journal can easily go out of business before it manages to publish its last accepted pieces.
Only yesterday did I get the news that this article had finally been published and I will soon receive the print copy of the journal. The actual printing of articles (at least in the Humanities) can get delayed for any amount of time these days. This is why I’m extremely happy that I have fulfilled my tenure requirements in what concerns publications 1,5 years before I have to submit my portfolio. Now I can work on my research without worrying that articles wouldn’t appear in time.
If you are just beginning a tenure-track career, please don’t let the false security of having six years ahead of you lull you into a dangerous sense of complacency. The time you have is a lot more limited than you think now.