The Sassy Scientist – Impatient Or Too Late?

The Sassy Scientist – Impatient Or Too Late?

Hilde has been ever so occupied with her research, especially finishing a manuscript for the first time. Submitting that paper was supposed to be some sort of closure, and mental solace, yet somehow there seems to be a predilection for progressive diffidence:

When has enough time passed to send a reminder/enquiry to an editor if the paper is in the ‘decision with editor’-stage?

Dear Hilde,

Don’t worry. These are busy people. Their priority is not your mental welfare. It’s theirs. They’ve got a smelly swamp of papers to wade through, grade, assess, recheck and scan. Rinse and repeat. Ground down as one should be by such endeavour, customer care and courtesy is granted only a low priority. If it is awarded some sense of priority to begin with. You’ll get your email when you get your email. Be content you get one to begin with. Your manuscript might just end up at the bottom of the pile, resulting in an overflow of papers for the latest issue and there might be a chance you get published in a month or two. Meanwhile, you spend some of your time refreshing the manuscript page of the online editorial system.

Let’s face it: journals are not suited to reassure the impatient researcher, nor were they designed as such. It’s about publishing research and advancing science, and in the process they get some subscriptions to keep the lights on… You should be honoured you get the chance to get your science out there. Through that unparalleled medium of the journal. They sure are not the only fossils out there. Sure, turnaround times are decent (for a bunch of journals, and only when averaged over the ever increasing list of new submissions), but the process can be quite a wake-up call for the soon(-or-not-that-soon)-to-be first-time author. It’s a test of patience. It’s a test of resilience. It’s a test of chirpiness. Don’t get bogged down by the system, and when you finally think “Now it’s time to send an email to the editor” just wait another few weeks.

Yours truly,

The Sassy Scientist

PS: This post was written without a nosey editor.

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I am currently employed at a first tier research institute where I am continuously working with the greatest minds to further our understanding of the solid Earth system. Whether it is mantle or lithosphere structure and dynamics, solid Earth rheology parameters, earthquake processes, integrating observations with model predictions or inversions: you have read a paper of mine. Even if you are working on a topic I haven’t mentioned here, I still know everything about it. Do you have any problems in your research career? I have already experienced them. Do you struggle with your work-life balance? Been there, done that. Nowadays, I have only one hobby: helping you out by answering the most poignant questions in geodynamics, research and life. I am waiting for you right here. Get inspired.

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