One thing that is certain in life is rejection, some call it the constant companion in science. As a collective we often focus on the rejection and don’t celebrate the successes sufficiently. Maybe we should at least acknowledge (I don’t want to say celebrate) the rejection. If you search for any statistics regarding applying for grants, post-docs, jobs, etc., you will find some staggering statistics on the number of applications, percent funded, etc. The old expression “Failure is not an option…” would be more accurate as failure is constantly an option, so much so that back in 2016 Dr Johannes Haushofer became widely know for posting online his CV of Failures. Others have followed suit. An article recounts that Haushofer, wrote the document to “give some perspective”. Most times we fail but it is hidden away out-of-sight so that when we do succeed it gives an unbalanced representation of the day-to-day work. Another quote from the article helps put things into context:
“As a result, they are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves, rather than the fact that the world is stochastic, applications are crapshoots, and selection committees and referees have bad days.”
Motivated by Dr Haushofer, Dr Melanie Stefan article/presentation, Dr Auriel Fournier and others have done the same. I decided to begin documenting my failures as well. This page currently only focuses on publication progress.
A significant amount of work is require to move a manuscript from submission to in-press. This process includes peer-review where scientists in and around the field of study (i.e. your peers) review the manuscript so that it meets good scientific standards. If the reviewers determine the manuscript is suitable it will be passed on for consideration for publication. This Understanding Science article has a great analogy to put the peer-review process into context:
Peer review does the same thing for science that the “inspected by #7” sticker does for your t-shirt.
Elsevier also provides an outline of peer-review including background, understanding the process, the types of peer-review and other additional information.