The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Monday, April 11, 2011

Peer Review Blues

So, a while back I wrote that I had submitted a paper for publication and that it was undergoing peer review before it was published in the journal. A couple of months ago, I received an email notifying me that there were too many papers, and that mine was one of the ones being cut. This was disappointing, but given that the over submitals came from well-established researchers, and mine was my first publication, not too surprising. As frustrating as it was, it made the most sense for mine to be cut.

Then, about two week sago, I received an email asking me if I could trim ten pages from my paper so that it could be fit into the journal issue after all. I was doubtful of my ability to do this, seeing as I had already cut it down to 45 pages from 150+ pages. However, after some prompting from my friend (who was also one of the editors), I began to work at it again. However, the peer reviewer had not yet turned their comments in to the journal. So, in order to meet the deadline, I was cutting material out without knowing what the reviewer was going to request be changed...which is not precisely the best strategy, but there wasn't much other option.

Three days before the paper was due, I received the review comments. Most of them were pretty simple, essentially just requesting clarification of a few points, or asking that certain terms be defined more narrowly to allow for a better discussion. No problem. There was one comment that was open to interpretation, and may have been requesting that a larger body of data be added to the study (not reasonable, as the reviewer turned the comments in three days before the paper deadline), or may simply have been intended to inform me of a location where there was more data to be had.

Regardless, I got the changes made, cut as many pages as I could, and sent the paper off. Now, the waiting begins to see if it actually makes publication or gets cut again. If it gets cut, I will submit it to other journals. Now that I've put this much work into it, it's damn well going to get published.

No comments: