How Erkan was ditched from an edited volume on Turkey soon to be published by Routledge (@routledgebooks)

How Erkan was ditched from an edited volume on Turkey soon to be published by Routledge (@routledgebooks)

It is not surprising for insiders that Academics can be as vicious as non-Academics. Means change and symbolic violence might replace other forms of doing ill but nonetheless most of the ugly stuff we witness in our daily lives outside of academia can be encountered at refined but equally heart-breaking ways. Nearly a year ago I had an issue with one of my colleagues, for instance, that will never be forgotten. She acted out of pure jealousy and made herself a fool in the end. I did not bother to mention it here in details. Maybe in future… But that was a case I witnessed personally how some scholars can be evil.

The case I will tell here is a different sort. I only tell the name of the Publisher. The volume I talk about here may in the end be published or not and there may be other volumes about Turkey. But I guess I have the ethical right to mention the Publisher?s name at least…

The story starts on 6 June 2010. At that day, I submitted my chapter. My first contact with one of the editors of the book on Turkey happened on 2 February 2010 as a colleague of mine introduced me to her as the editors were looking for more articles to prepare the book proposal to Routledge. After amicable exchanges, I was very welcome to accept their invitation and as scheduled I did submit my paper in June, 2010. Thanks to Gmail all conversations are eternally archived.

The project includes many professors and many scholarly interests whose only centralizing theme is Turkey. And I suspect most of the scholars are in political science. Most contributors are Turkish but most editors are from a European country, not Turkish. Because of diversity and active editors not based in Turkey, preparation for the the edited volume project seemed to have lasted than longer.

My article had 3 major revisions. After the last one submitted (3 March 2012), I haven?t heard from the editors until a collective mail dated on 5 November 2013. That mail declared to all contributors that the book proposal was accepted and there would be some final updatings in articles. ?The updating process would be very short? and added paragraphs would not exceed more than 500 words.

As I was happily getting ready to have a last look at my chapter, I received a mail from the editor I was in touch with on 7 November 2012. The editor told me she would introduce another author for the article. My name would come first but the chapter would be co-authored as my chapter needed substantive editing.

Dear friends, as you might have any ideas about my style, I am always open to collaborate. However, it is hardly an ethical stance if you ask someone to coauthor his stuff after 885 days and three major revisions passed. Asking someone to co-author his work after declaring that it is soon to be published does not look like nice. What is worse is that this decision had already been done. I was given the right to approve the proposed the co-author but not the choice to publish my article with my own name alone.

My immediate response:
After 3 years, is this the result? That i need a co-author. Isn’t this something to mind about it?
I wish you had decided for a partner in previous phases…

I received a lengthy reply next day and as I was disappointed and was going through a hectic time of work at my university, could not reply on time. The lengthy reply did not really resolve the ethical problems that emerged. Just repeating the claim that my article which was accepted before now had scholarly problems and that could only be fixed with another author.

5 days later, I received another message stating that since I was silent that meant I quitted and she wished me good luck… Remember that more than 6 months passed after I submitted my 3rd revision. 5 days do not seems to be long at a work space…

One of the seemingly symbolic editors is from Turkey and in my later correspondence with him, it seemed that the decision to leave me out was not made collectively but by the three editors who occupy the same nationality.

I tend to be modest in my claims but I am confident about my academic strength. I have reached to my current position with my own academic labor and I have enough academic credentials to reject anyone to claim lack of scholarly strength in my works. Alas, life is unfair, an academic gang/network that I have only weak ties can unfairly leave me out- and thus demonstrate a case of symbolic violence at an academic setting… My article will probably be published in an even better place, but some will always have the shame to carry on…

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