Monday, September 29, 2008

The waiting game ...

... so I currently have two first authored manuscripts out for review. One has been out for almost a month, the other for a couple of weeks. I'm not sure when I'll hear back from the editors from the respective journals, but I hope it's soon.

This is one of the hardest parts of the whole peer-review process. You know who your editor is, but you have no idea who the reviewers are, and as such you have no idea how your research is going to be viewed and accepted ... if it's accepted at all. Now where I work, we do a round of "in house" peer-review prior to sending it out to the journal. Typically we're asked to pick two experts in the field, preferrably not collaborators on other projects of ours, and send it to them to get their opinion on whether the paper would have a legitimate chance of passing through the peer review process. Both manuscripts of mine were received favorably, and I addressed the comments laid forth by the reviewers of both papers. The hope is, they catch anything which could be considered "deal breaking" so when it gets into the actual peer-review process, things should go rather smoothly.

These are my first, first-authored papers with my new job ... so we'll see how well the process works. One of the papers, I'm extremely confident will see the light of publication soon. I may have to do some edits, but I cannot envision any major rewrites or new experiments. I'll get it back, I'll do the revisions ... and it'll get published. The second one ... I'm a bit more concerned. It's from my graduate school days, and was gutted by my old academic adviser ... half of it went into a paper of the new post-doc (with the promise that we'd share first authorship) and I was left with the residual to get published. Is it strong enough to get published? Several people think so, and I think so to ... but it's one of those borderline cases. I'd say it's definitely an LPU (least publishable unit). I'd have loved to add a bit more work to it ... but I left my graduate career behind almost four years ago, and I can't bring a human pathogen into an environmental lab ... it just isn't going to happen. So, I have to hope the reviewers don't shred it to bits. It also highlights one of the problems a lot of new PhD's have ... they lose control of their projects once they graduate. This paper would have been much stronger if I had gotten a chance to publish it in grad school, but I lost any leg I had to stand on once I ceased to be part of the "family" of the lab.

1 comment:

microbiologist xx said...

Good luck!!