So it has officially happened. I received my first paper rejection. It actually did not burn as bad as I thought it would. It did however take me a whole month since the rejection to start writing this blog (and after the next submission to post it), but that is not the point. Actually, all in all, it was a beautiful experience. The beauty in this process came from the confidence of writing the 1st paper to begin with and then moving foward to write the next version of the paper. This was my first full paper, 10 pages, that I have written, therefore I’m not too hurt to find that I still have a lot of work to do.
I am very thankful for my supportive team of authors. The follow up to the paper was also a good example of teamwork and hope for the research. The comments from my team of authors was encouraging. My team of authors was very active throughout the paper writing, rejection, and reworking of the paper. Everyone was excited to shift the paper for another venue and we have successfully completed that now.
To help with that transition, I developed a timeline for our next venue and we began to task out what needed to be done to make this next paper awesome. Initially, things were moving pretty slow since I was at my internship and had little time outside of the lab to work on the new paper. Drafting out the timeline was a good way to stay focused on the new goal and not dwell on the past rejection. Another way to avoid dwelling on the past rejection was to read the reviewer comments with a grain of salt. My research group uses GitHub to collaborate on paper writing and a member of the team volunteered to turn all the reviewer comments into GitHub Issues. This definitely helped us make the reviewer comments more manageable and not just a big block of “negative” text that no one wanted to read. We assigned these issues to individuals and made new ones to get the paper up to par. As we began to assign and close issues, we got closer to a more complete and acceptable paper.
Through this entire process I want to acknowledge the perspective I had coming into this paper. I knew this research was interesting, it was just a matter of how I communicated how interesting and valuable it was. I can acknowledge the fact that I am growing as a researcher and writer and that is something that I am okay with. I still have many more rejections to come but it’s about how I handle those rejections that matter. As I await feedback from this submission, I must continue to move forward and enhance my skills. Honestly, there is no where to go but up from here; or as my advisor said to me…