The upside of being rejected

When I taught a writing course I reminded my students that scientific writing was an iterative process involving many revisions. Hence, when a paper is rejected following a reasonable or better review, it should be seen as an opportunity for improvement.  It seems my view is nicely reinforced by a recent paper in The Scientist Magazine entitled “The benefits of rejection” by Ruth Williams. It is well worth a read. Based on a survey that involved over 80,000 respondents, the main finding is that papers that are rejected, if resubmitted, even to a journal with a lower impact factor, are likely to be cited more often than other papers in the same journal. Incidentally, not only did I encourage revision, I also encouraged persistence.

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