You can’t be a scientist without publishing in a peer-reviewed journal. It’s even part of the requirement of a PhD. I have been going crazy sitting at my computer – writing, re-writing, formatting for a specific journal, making sure everything is just right. Twice in the past month I have submitted manuscripts to different journals and twice I have been rejected.


Rejection is something that happens to all scientists. This thought does not comfort me at all. Fucking hell. I signed up for lab work and finding answers. Not all this damn writing, making sure my tense is consistent (anyone reading this blog will know that I have issues with tense) and being diplomatic and shit.

Lets start with a paper that I have had sitting around for about a year, due to my supervisor taking that long to read it and add his contribution in the methods section (all of one fucking sentence). The one that I have to put my collaborators on the author list in order to get money from them, despite contributing nothing but pain.
I’ll admit it – it’s not a very good paper.
The journal I wrote the paper for was perfect for my paper…about two years ago. Now the journal wants to improve its quality and rejected my paper without even blinking. It’s annoying but I get it. I was basing my submission on previous publications without realising that the journal was still going through a transition stage and papers of the same quality as mine that were published last November are no longer acceptable.
So now I have reformatted and submitted the manuscript elsewhere as a Short Communication and am nervously waiting for a response. I haven’t head anything so I guess it got past the Editor. Here’s hoping the reviewers feel sorry for me and accept it with only minor modifications.

The second paper, the one the I have put my blood sweat and tears in and am quite proud of, was rejected this morning. Apparently it is too “specialized” for the journal, which is a marine journal. The Editor was very polite and nice about it but I can’t respond with anything nicer than “fuck you”.
I really don’t get it. I picked that journal because similar papers have been published. Those papers look at populations of my fish species using a single marker. My awesome paper of awesomeness not only examines fish populations but also assesses the suitability of that marker that the previous researchers have used and concludes that it’s a stupid marker (though worded more diplomatically). Seriously, how is it my paper is specialized but the other papers are acceptable?
The way I see it, the conclusions of my research can be applied to other research on population genetics. Not the population structure of my fish species but the underlying methodology (ie. check to see if you are using the right marker before you use it).
What makes it so specialized? The species? Fishing management issues? The genetics? Someone needs to spell it out to me because I’m clearly not getting it.
So now I’m going to have to find a journal that won’t think it’s too bloody specialized and reformat it ASAP, since my collaborations can’t publish their work until this is accepted and in press.


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