The Sunny Side of Rejection

rejection may make a paper stronger.

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For many years I have kept in

For many years I have kept in my office in a prominent position a copy of the letter dated 11.6.1937 from the editor of 'Nature' rejecting the paper by Hans Krebs on his Citric Acid Cycle, saying that they 'had already sufficient letters to fill the correspondence columns of Nature for seven or eight weeks.'

This gave me the confidence in the instances to resubmit to another journal a paper that had just been rejected. Ultimately all my papers were published.

We have an occasional

We have an occasional "journey to publication" club as an alternative to the usual journal club. Authors describe the paper as originally submitted, reviewers and editors comments and what changed in the final paper accepted. It is often an eye-opening presentation, but most papers really do improve during the publication process.

However I do wonder if pushing for a year (in some cases) to get into the highest impact factor journal is really a good use of so many bright peoples time? Once the story is complete shouldn't we be pushing them to get the next story out ASAP? The problem is that only one or two papers are the basis for most post-docs to get their first independent group leader position so the pressure is on to aim high.