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Today I received an email that I thought I would share with you, from the publishers of the American Journal of Economics and Sociology.  It said that the two articles I penned for the journal were among the top 20 most-downloaded articles in the year following publication, and even offered me a certificate in recognition for my work.

The email says:

Dear Tom Secker ,

We are pleased to let you know that your work, published in  American Journal of Economics and Sociology, is some of the journal’s top downloaded recent papers!

Why are the Pentagon and the CIA in Hollywood? [co-authored with Matt Alford]

The Soviet-Afghan War in Fiction

What this means for you:
Amongst articles published between January 2017 and December 2018, your paper received some of the most downloads in the 12 months following online publication.

Your work generated immediate impact and visibility, contributing significantly to the advancement of your field.

In recognition of your work, we’re pleased to offer you a certificate of achievement.

And this is the certificate:

It appears that not just one but both articles are among the top 20 most downloaded in 2017-18.  I admit, I am solely posting this for a bit of vainglorious gloating that I – a non-academic who barely has an undergraduate degree – have made an impact on the academic world.  Let this be a lesson – that it doesn’t matter what your formal education is or whether you have letters before or after your name, what matters is that you care about something, have passion and motivation, and persist until you get results.