Patty Osborne's Blog

When does summer start?

Patty Osborne

Who knew that an article in Learned Publishing, a journal published out of the UK by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, could make me laugh out loud? The article in question, "Write when you can and submit when you are ready!" is a rebuttal to a previous article that had presented data in support of the hypothesis that papers that are submitted for publication in the winter will have a better chance of being published because there is more competition (i.e. more people submitting) in the summer. James Hartley, the author of the rebuttal, poses the question "just what defines ‘summer’ and ‘winter’?" and provides his own data, collected at the University of Staffordshire, UK, on this question:

"In a straw poll conducted in my department, I asked colleagues to indicate when they thought winter and summer began. Eighteen of 23 respondents (78%) voted for winter being from December to February, spring from March to May, summer from June to August, and autumn from September to November. Three more opted for this decision after quibbling about it first (making it 91%). One more—also a farmer—opted for winter starting in November and one—a Canadian—abstained from making a decision . . ."

I feel for that Canadian. Anyone who is foolish enough to commit to a beginning and end of any season (especially winter), is probably setting oneself up for disappointment, right? In Canada we're all about living in the moment.



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