I’m in the middle of revising two papers, with a third almost ready for submission. It’s a great situation to be in, but it’s really time consuming and I feel like I’ve left some of my other projects in limbo. The process for me is like Alice the Camel, there’s a lot of humps (continued after the break):
- I’m pretty excited. I’ve done some analysis, enough that I feel like there’s something there. I have an idea of where I want the paper to go, and I’m busy writing out an outline with some figure ideas so that I can sort out what needs to be done.
- Erg, something’s not working, some of my results are different than the last time I looked. I’m having some issues making graphs that look reasonable.
- Awesome! The main analysis is done, I’m adding some descriptive stats which are pretty straightforward and I’ve got a good map of the discussion, I can see the end!
- Gah! Sent the paper out to co-authors and they don’t see how awesome some of the things I’ve done are. But. . .
- Sweet. Working through the co-author comments helps crystallize the paper, and make it much cleaner.
- Aw man, journal submission is a drag. Oh, and I forgot to write a cover letter. What did Dynamic Ecology say about them?
- Yes! Journal accepted the paper!
- Argh! These reviewers are asking me to do some annoying things. Resubmitting is just as annoying as submitting.
- Okay, it’s off my plate for a while.
- Yay! Publication!
- Gah, more minor changes, no problem, off again.
- Look! It’s my paper proofs!
- Arg, missed a couple typos, some changes are needed.
- Yay! Everything’s done.
- Yay! Someone’s cited my paper!
- Gah, on to the next paper. Publish or perish young researcher. . .
Something like that anyway. How common is this? What’s your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?
The big point here is that for all the ups and downs, it is important to look at the big picture. Is the paper you’re writing important? Are you, in a broad sense, excited about it? Sometimes I have to remind myself of the big picture as I slog through reviewer comments, but I’ve been lucky to consistently have reviewers who are supportive. On my first paper a reviewer’s comment on line 100-and-something was simply: “This is really interesting.” It’s these kinds of comments that help keep things positive.
So, back to revisions. Hope you are all making progress too.