20 July 2011

Thirty by thirty update: submitted for your approval

Those regular readers of mine – thank you so much for sticking with me, by the way! – might remember that I put a publication on my 30 by 30 list. And I mentioned that, at the time, I had a manuscript that was almost ready to submit to a scientific journal for publication.


That’s right. It’s been submitted. Twice, honestly, but the first top-tier journal we tried rejected it without review (unsurprisingly. Don’t cry for me, Mama Tina). So we next went to the Society for Neuroscience, who agreed to review it, as you can see from the status above.

For those unfamiliar with the scientific industry, all articles published in scientific journals are peer-reviewed. When a group of scientists get a cool result that the rest of the scientific community should know, they write it up in an article that includes the background of the story (with references to previously published articles), the experiments they did, their interpretation of the data, and the broad implications for their findings. Then they submit it to a journal, where an editor decides if it’s worthy of review, and if so, sends it to experts in the field for their comments and critique of the paper. These “experts” are anonymous scientists exactly like the authors of the paper (so yes, my boss and I have reviewed papers for publication as well). That’s the “peer-review” part of the process. The reviewers may offer differing interpretations of the data and suggest additional experiments, which they pass back on to the editor. The editor then decides what changes should be done (if any) and whether the paper should be published in the journal, based on the reviewers’ comments and recommendations.

So the “under review” status made me happy that I was somewhere in the middle of that process! However, when I checked the detailed status:

So basically it went “under review” the second we gave them our money. Hmm. That sounds a bit automated, wouldn’t you agree?

We waited for a few weeks to see if the status would indicate what exactly was happening until, finally, my boss decided to drop the editor a note and ask just what that “under review” status meant. She wrote back and told us that it had been sent to reviewers – over a week earlier! Without any changes on the status on the website. Um, thanks.

As of today, I am waiting for the reviews – and the verdict. Keep your fingers crossed for me?


CalcDave said...

Maybe you get back word some other way, but I think I would do this like I do packages that are sent to my house and refresh the thing every five minutes to see if anything has changed.

Tina said...

"Don’t cry for me, Mama Tina"...
lol Clever. :-)