Blog Post

Am I a fool for waiting?

On π day, I shared some science about the last paper I published as a part of my PhD.  Well, getting it published is a long story that gives some context into science writing. 

The first paper that I ever co-authored was the only one that was submitted by paper.  It was FedEx’d (I think) to the Journal.  We didn’t hear back for 6 months, then finally, we got a letter of acceptance!  That was in 2003/2004.  (I’m curious, does anyone reading this remember contacting editors only by mail?) 

The fastest original research manuscripts I’ve had accepted as corresponding author were done with 1 revision, so a bit less than 2 months. 

If my paper isn’t accepted quickly, it can go very… very… very… slowly.  The slow is challenging, but also taught me important lessons (patience included). 

The paper about τ that I referred to in the π Day post (Chung 2008) followed this path (as far as I can resurrect from my old files): 

  • Submitted to Circulation 7/2006, Rejected 
  • Submitted to Am J Physiol-Heart Circ 8/2006, Rejected 
  • Pre-submission inquiry: Nature Medicine 10/17/2006, Rejected 
  • Resubmitted to Circulation 10/2006, Rejected 
  • Submitted to J Clin Invest 11/2006, Rejected 
  • Submitted to J Appl Physiol 12/2006, Rejected 
  • Revised Resubmission to J Appl Physiol 2/2007, Rejected 
  • Revised Resubmission to J Appl Physiol 4/2007, Rejected 
  • Submitted to Circ Res 6/2007, Rejected 
  • Submitted to Am J Physiol-Heart Circ 8/2007, Rejected 
  • [I graduated and started a postdoc here] 
  • Revised Resubmission to Am J Physiol-Heart Circ 11/2007, Rejected 
  • Revised Resubmission to Am J Physiol-Heart Circ, Accepted and online 1/2008 
  • Published 4/2008 

(Honestly, I don’t recall why we submitted in the order we did.  I think around the time of my second submission I had presented this at an international conference and maybe that made my mentor more excited about the concept?) 

The first paper that discusses Mechanical Control of Relaxation (Chung 2017) went something like this: 

  • Submission to Nature Medicine, 10/2014 Desk Rejection in 4 days  
  • Submission to Science Translational Medicine 11/2014, Desk Rejection in 10 days 
  • Submission to Circ Research 11/2014, 1 Reviewer/Desk Rejection in 2 days 
  • Submission to Circulation 12/2014, rejected  
  • Submission to Am J Physiol-Heart Circ 2/2015, rejected  
  • [I got an assistant professor position in here- although this does not explain the subsequent delay in the next submission…] 
  • Submission to J Mol Cell Cardiol 5/2016, rejected  
  • De novo submission to J Mol Cell Cardiol 12/2016, revisions required
  • Revised Resubmission to JMCC 1/2017, accepted published online 1/2017 
  • Published 2/2017

During this period, I learned a few lessons about avoidance and accountability. (Well, I say learned, but its more like I’ve started to be come mindful of my tendencies because I’ve recently avoided again. Lets maybe keep that to another post and focus on the timeline…)

These two papers are major pillars of research that I am fortunate to continue doing- and what my old mentors have told me were important works.   

I would love it if my reviewers took my work more quickly, but in the end, I’m ecstatic that these works have been published and are available. 

tl;dr: So if you’ve recently got a rejection, there is hope for all of you who are struggling to get your work published, especially the stuff that you’re really interested in or excited about.

In the mean time, I have to work on the next output that I’ve procrastinated on submitted! 

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