My recent post on building confidence, building resilience, and building CVs got me thinking a lot about rejection, including what is the “right” amount of rejection. There’s no clear answer to that question, but I think there are extremes that would not feel right for me. If every manuscript got accepted at the first journal to which I submitted it, I’d suspect I was playing it too safe in my journal choices. But I also definitely would not want every manuscript rejected from multiple journals before it was accepted!
I originally was going to do a poll asking about what percentage of manuscripts you think you should get rejected, versus what percent actually are rejected. But I think that would be easy to guess at, but that probably it would be hard to estimate well. And I realized that it’s probably more interesting to get some sense of what is actually going on. So, instead, I am going to ask about the three most recent papers on your CV. (Three is an attempt to balance not having one weird paper dominate a response with not wanting the number so high that only senior folks could answer the poll.) This will take a little time to answer, I think – I personally would have to think a bit about each of my three most recent papers and to think of their submission histories. If you’re used to plowing through quizzes, this one might take longer.
A few general notes:
- If a paper got a rejection with the possibility of resubmission and then got accepted at that journal, please do not consider that a rejection. In the old days, that would have been a major revision – let’s pretend we’re still in those times!
- Please exclude invited submissions, since those are much more likely to get accepted and aren’t really representative of a case where you had to decide where to submit something.
With all that as intro, here’s the poll!