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I have a theory about the chronology of the Exodus. I am in retrospect neither a Minimalist, a Maximalist, nor a supporter of the New Chronology. I'm not a believer in actual miracles, but nonetheless have studied the problem for many years. I have been unable to elicit even a few minutes of time from professional archaeologists so as to present it to them. When I say I don't have suitable degrees but have a revolutionary Exodus chronology, I quickly get cut off. I can sympathize somewhat, since I've come across many chronologies by amateurs in my studies most of which are evidently pretty off-base. Yet, many breakthroughs by non-academics have been made (e.g. the Wright Brothers, the Longitudinal Prize, private industry, etc.) In the mean time, I have updated a book I wrote about the subject with a number of better-researched topics and latest findings. I would like to publish an article about it, to establish scholarly priority, and to hopefully elicit scholarly interest.

I know there are journals one can pay to be published in, but they are of poor repute, and not peer reviewed. Were I to publish in one, it might be poorly received, as rather dubious content appears in such journals. If I could publish in a peer-reviewed journal, no matter if the referees liked it or not, I hope my theory could stand or fall on its own once it gets sufficient attention. My basic question is to ask for advice on how to proceed. Specifically, can anyone recommend a journal that an unpublished scholar without the usual degrees might submit a paper on biblical archaeology and have a hope to be published in, and be judged more or less fairly by its content? I would hope for a journal that would fairly entertain a chronology that has an Exodus in the late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Dynasties of Egypt, and is not too dogmatic nor dismissive of the biblical narrative but uses it as one of many sources - all the while prioritizing the archaeological evidence where suitable. (When I say it's a chronology, I mean one which proposes to identify biblical characters with historical counterparts and events across various cultures.) Otherwise, should I be leery of publishing a book without going through academia? Some scientists who have held a press conference to announce their discoveries without publishing in a journal seem to have been given short shrift as if their publicity stunt invalidated their science. I wish to offer scholars a chance to look at it before publishing. I don't want to just upload it to Academia.edu or such, since it might go relatively unnoticed.

Here are the choices that come to mind: to publish it in a journal you might recommend, to publish in some un-refereed journal (which I hope you would suggest), to self-publish a book without academic involvement (as publishers have responded similarly), to upload a paper to Academia.edu or the like, to keep up the search for two scholars who will give it a hearing, to hold a press conference without academic involvement (probably not), to wait and earn a Ph. D in a relevant field, or other?

Note: I should point out that I did submit a proposal for my book to Brill Academic Publishing, and an editor responded he would publish it if I could find two scholars to support it. I don't really know if he meant two scholars who thought it was probably right, or two which only thought it was interesting enough to deserve publication for scholarly evaluation. I'm not sure if it is an especial honor for Brill to have made the offer - but I will say that while they too didn't comment on the content, it does seem the fairest of the responses, and the only sign of possible interest whatsoever. However, it's hard to find two supporting scholars when only one would condescend to hear as much as a few sentences of it. I could easily come up with over a dozen journals to submit an article to, but I think it highly likely that it will be rejected by virtually all the ones I could think of off the top of my head due to lack of specific degrees and superficial problems. I am hoping for ones with relatively low bars to entry, but still peer-reviewed.

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    Wait, you write a proposal for a book, but you have not yet even published a paper? that's putting the cart before the horses!
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 22:33
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    Good thing it is not a philosophy paper, otherwise it might be putting Descartes before the horses! (couldn't resist...).
    – cag51
    Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 22:53
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    One word of warning: The vast majority of journals, even reputable journals, are more or less write-only; no one reads them. Publication in a journal would establish scholarly priority, but it's unlikely to elicit scholarly interest. It's more or less the same with books; most books are hardly read by anyone. Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 23:00
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    Problem: "When I say I don't have suitable degrees but have a revolutionary Exodus chronology, I quickly get cut off." Solution: don't say that you have "a revolutionary Exodus chronology". Make a smaller and more specific claim. Ask for feedback on some particular, well delimited, manageable aspect of your work. Be open to that feedback. Avoid ascribing too much importance to your own results. Commented Jun 4, 2022 at 12:34
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    Don't think of it as: here is my revolutionary theory, how do I get someone to read it? This is off-putting, people can sense it, and will try to avoid getting embroiled in an interaction like that. Think of it as: here is a theory, how can I get experts in the field to subject it to proper academic scrutiny so that I can learn what its weak points are? This is the kind of interaction experts will perhaps be more open to engage in. Perhaps paradoxically, the less importance you ascribe to your theory, the more the experts might be willing to engage with you. Commented Jun 4, 2022 at 12:47

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Specifically, can anyone recommend a journal that an unpublished scholar without the usual degrees might submit a paper on whatever topic of interest of that journal and have a hope to be published in, and be judged more or less fairly by its content?

Any reputable journal will do that. However, the burden is on you: you need to know "how to write a paper" and how to make your arguments clear. That's why lot of people attends doctoral schools, universities, courses: they want to be able to convey a message and to properly defend it.

You know the topic that interests you, you have to find the journals that have your same interests.

A starting point is to know department and universities that offer degrees at least tangential to your interests. If you go through their site, or if you contact their librarians, you may get to know which journals they subscribe to. Afterwards, it is up to you to look for these journals, to find out if you are interested in publishing with them.

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  • I have studied the field enough to believe that I can express the matter clearly enough. I understand journals may decide the copy in not suitable for their journal, but I'm happy to update the parts that are weak. Shall I make the scholarly world wait years to know while I take the classes? I also have a medical problem that would make that an issue. Shouldn't academia's right to kn ow, and my need for scholarly priority obviate that? I have found some mediocre research using some of the same sources as mine. I do appreciate the advice about finding appropriate journals.
    – CodeLurker
    Commented Jun 4, 2022 at 0:40
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    @CodeLurker You don't need to express the matter clearly enough for you, you need to express it clearly enough for everyone else.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jun 4, 2022 at 13:45
  • "Shall I make the scholarly world wait years". Exodus happened sometime ago. The (scholarly and not) world can wait some more years, no rush.
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Jun 7, 2022 at 8:00

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