Submitting a research paper to a well-respected journal is not an easy task and all of us know about that. Getting published is a tough process. First, the most important piece of work you have been working for months or years is (finally!) finished. Days and nights working on a final manuscript to be submitted, until you think there is nothing else to be done. So, once you click on the “submit” button, there is a sense of relief but at the same time, the uncertainty of starting a new experience: the first peer-review. The waiting and eventually acceptance.
Some variable and unexpected outcomes (for the authors) could happen at this point. Several months after submission, the revised manuscript would be accepted at first look (very rare – at least for early-career scientists), after minor/major revisions (woohoo), or rejected. Most of the time, we as young researchers are rejected from top journals more often than we are accepted. In an early career level, we are supposed to get better at developing skills, contacts and resiliency.
“At the end of the day, whether your paper is accepted or not, you can always learn something from the reviewer´s comments”.
As an author, I am always very pleased to see that the reviewers take a lot of effort and time to revise my work. In the second (and following) revision of the paper to the journal, all reviewers’ opinions are important; some of them make you feel comfortable, while others literally make you feel “eaten” (see descriptive graph). You have waited so long and now the peer reviewer’s feedback takes all the positivity away from you. You could take a day or two, perhaps more time to look at the comments with a different attitude: don´t get mad, get a new perspective.
At the end of the day, whether your paper is accepted or not, you can always learn something from the reviewer´s comments. Mostly, if your research project or grant gets funded, all comments can be really helpful in the process.
After these experiences, being asked to serve as peer-reviewer for an indexed journal is also great. And a new start, from a different point of view.
How do you deal with peer-review?