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My first article got rejected. My article proposal for another article also got rejected. I know it happens to all academics, but having these rejections while I am going through one of the most challenging times of my life is somewhat daunting. 

 

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I am sorry to hear that your paper got rejected. But I hope you feel better in me saying that you are not alone. A LOT of academics get their papers rejected in their life, probably everyone. Almost everyone's first paper gets rejected. I know faculty to this day who papers are still rejected. Take the advice that is given to you from the rejecters and make it better/work on it. You will probably get rejected again (maybe not, but maybe so) and its OKAY. You are not the first and you won't be the last. It happens to everyone and it will happen to you again. If not on this paper, probably others. So please, take time for yourself to heal and then take this energy and do productive things with it. Being a Ph.D. Student (or anyone in any career) means you will hear more NO then Yes in your lifetime. Don't let the fear of NOs scare you from your goals. If you can't get passed this, then I'd say maybe a Ph.D. isn't for you because rejection comes with the territory, from papers, fellowships, awards, assistantships, book deal etc. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been rejected before and I know they can sting. There are a lot of factors that go into the publishing process. From what I've seen it could be:

1. The journal is very selective and publishes only a small percentage of submissions (often seen with journals with a high impact factor). Even if your article is great it can still be rejected since competition is high.

2. The article did not quite fit the scope of the journal. Its always important to read the guidelines for authors section, which includes info about the scope to see if it fits. (Scope can be a bit subjective, AFAIK its up to the editor to determine the fit)

3. After review major revisions were requested. Usually when you receive the rejection, the reviewers comments will be attached. If you want to resubmit your article to another journal, its important to address some of the comments from the reviewers before submitting it, so that it might have a higher chance of acceptance at another journal.

I've published in neuroscience and psychology journals so far so YMMV if you are studying different discipline

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  • 4 weeks later...

Knowledge will find its way through the proper research channels. Just be patient and confident in the quality of your work: be open to opportunities to review, etc. Don't give in to critical reviews that miss the mark--respect yourself enough to look for better venues in these cases!

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Did you get any reason for the rejections? 

Sometimes journals explain that your paper is not a good fit for them, so you know maybe you can sell it elsewhere. 

Something that worked for me was to workshop my paper. During my graduate career, we got together with other students in my field and once a month we commented on pre-circulated paper. It was lots of work for everyone, but very useful. 

On 8/5/2020 at 5:11 AM, Adelaide9216 said:

I just need advice on how to get published at least once during the course of my PhD.

This urgency to publish before you graduate can be field-specific (in History, Americanists publish like crazy). I suggest you approach your advisor about this. They will know better if the rejections are about the article per se, the argument, the methods, or the scope. 

Good luck.

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  • 6 months later...

I'm really sorry for that. I've been there many times in the last few months; actually, I had ten rejections in just one year. At the same time, I kept pushing, and writing, and rewriting, and sending out abstracts, so I have managed to secure two publications in peer-reviewed journals. The first one was really hard but, through the process, I have come to realize many things about my writing style. I was desperately trying to include so much information in just one article, that I ended up losing track of what I wanted to say in the first place and, as a result, my work got rejected. I then remembered what my high school English teacher used to say about planning an essay: "Tell them what you're gonna tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them". I started applying her advice to every other article I sent out, and the reviewers' comments gradually got better, because my argumentation wasn't overshadowed by an overflow of (not necessarily relevant) information. During my Masters I had picked up the habit of confidently analyzing my arguments in many, many pages since there is no word or page limit in French universities. As a result, the 7.000 word limit set by most journals stressed me out, and I had this strange idea that I needed to present more info, more bibliographical sources, more of everything, in order for my article to be valid. Turns out, I just needed to learn to work in a slightly different way for publications. I am sharing this experience because, after that first rejection, I had the exact same thoughts you do. I kept thinking that I had to drop out and find something else to do. Rejections let everyone down, especially when you work in academia, in an environment that I find from time to time to be overly competitive and nerve-wracking. I hope you do what's best for you but, in any case, don't let a rejection get you down. They are part of life, and of our work. I hope many amazing publications are just down the road for you, and send you my most optimistic vibes.

Edited by Miss Brightside
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