Thursday, January 12, 2012

There's a light at the end of the tunnel...right?

My manuscript was rejected.  Rejected. 

For those of you not involved in science, probably everyone who reads this, let me explain...  All the research a scientist does has the same intended results- to have it accepted into a peer-reviewed scientific journal.  If you're not published, your work is basically meaningless.  As a grad student, being published is your key to graduating (besides the monster I call my dissertation...shudder).

For the last 2 years I have performed the research that went into this manuscript, slowly losing my mind and my love for neuroscience along the way.  I've spent countless hours on weekdays and weekends alike watching rats run around a maze in a prison cell of a room.  I've dealt with undergrads driving me out of my mind by not doing something I have patiently explained to them how to do five times.  And more importantly, I've dealt with my boss continuously teasing me with the prospect that "I promise you'll be done with this experiment after you try just this one more thing..."  So imagine my relief when, after finally writing up this manuscript, we submitted it to The Journal of Neuroscience.

That was the problem.  The Journal of Neuroscience is a really good journal.  Too good.  They took one look at my manuscript and scoffed.  It's not all bad though, because I can still rework it some and resubmit it to another, somewhat less prestigious but still very well-respected journal.  The problem is that the never-ending project from hell is not over.

To most people, the rewarding feeling of being published is worth all the frustrations and failures that come along with a life of research.  I guess I can't comment on this until my manuscript is actually published, then I'll let you know if I feel any differently. 


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