In the past year, I have had the dubious pleasure of having some of my papers rejected by journals. It is draining. First, A LOT of time and emotional energy goes into each paper. I scrutinize it before submission, and really believe in it. Then I go though the submission process, a time consuming, nit-picking task, where it seems every journal has their own idiosyncratic formatting demands. So when the result is a rejection, either direct desk rejection, or with some reviewer who say they found the manuscript to be of insufficient interest to be considered for publication in the journal; it hurts. A sneaking feeling can creep in that I am not good enough. The fear of a new rejection, and letting my co-authors down can creep in, and delay re-submission. This is not good.
So reading a piece by my co-supervisor, at times co-author, and a scholar with more than 1300 publications, on this process, is welcome! A couple of highlights:
That paper had been rejected before. Indeed, I have been here many times before: probably more than 500 times. Yet, still, I went through the usual emotional sequence I talk about in my lectures on grief: surprise, anger, hurt, depression and acceptance.
- good to know he feels as I do.. I am am, in other words, not that special 😀
Those with brittle egos or poor psychological defences suffer most, of course; perhaps that is why so many senior academics have the callous unemotionality associated with a subclinical psychopath
😀 😀 😀
The piece was published at Times Higher Education, but behind a pay/-registration wall. I also found it here.
Another journal rejection? Put on your helmet – World leading higher education information and services
I had two papers rejected this week: one by a psychiatry journal, the other by a business ethics journal. The former was a “desk rejection”, communicated via the usual cut-and-pasted paragraphs from an “associate editor”, whatever that is. The latter enclosed two reviews: one lukewarm, the other distinctly chilly.
Rejection can be felt more intensely in academia because of the level of personal investment – but it is a normal and necessary aspect of any career Hearing that an editor does not want to publish your work can be crushing, but learning from the experience can make you stronger The great loss is the more subtle stuff, such as arching an eyebrow at a pal when Professor X starts droning on, says Athene Donald