In a recent issue of Science, a group of sociologists tried to unmask the frustrating process of getting published in high-impact journals, particularly the big three: Science, Nature, and Proceedings from the National Academy of Sciences. After some intensive analyses, it was found that the papers in high-impact journals that receive the greatest numbers of citations were previously rejected by (the group’s) top-choice journal. Further, the impact factor of a paper (which, in part, is based on the number of citations) was also heightened for these “first-time rejects.” Thus, it is encouraging to know that the peer-review process and the care that reviewers take (most of the time) to evaluate the merit, data interpretation, and impact of the study is of great benefit to the research group publishing the study. Keep this post on file for the next occasion that you receive discouraging comments from a recent manuscript submission. Get on pluggin’.
Calcagno, V., Demoinet, E., Gollner, K., Guidi, L., Ruths, D., & de Mazancourt, C. (2012). Flows of Research Manuscripts Among Scientific Journals Reveal Hidden Submission Patterns Science, 338 (6110), 1065-1069 DOI: 10.1126/science.1227833