Graduate students typically spend vast amounts of time focusing on a single aspect in their chosen field, researching and writing for professors, writing a thesis, and then completing a dissertation. These efforts will hopefully be published in journals around the world, making a huge splash and creating discussions in classrooms everywhere.
Then that first letter arrives in the mail.Opening it with anticipation of fame, the first line reads “We regret to inform you…” and emotions emerge like tidal waves. Here is some SHOCKING news (and it was also very shocking to me; I had not a clue about these statistics):
“The top research journals reject fully 9 out of 10 of the papers they receive.” Douglas T. Kenrick, Ph.D. (Psychology Today, Jan 2013)
What comes to mind? Hmmm… Is this a joke? Seriously? Nope, no joke. Apparently we are all looking at nine straight-up “No” responses before there is even a “Maybe” letter (which also bluntly documents the editors liberal application of red ink all over our wonderful research papers). AGHHH!
I quote an interesting story from Dr. Kenrick:
“Many years back, when I was still a young professor, I recall a conversation between two of the most successful people in the field. These were two prominent professors (Charles S. Carver and David Kenny), whose articles had appeared in all the major journals, and gone on to have immense scientific impact (as judged by thousands of citations by other scientific researchers). But rather than basking in their great success, these two super-stars were discussing their strategies for coping with rejection letters. It quickly became clear that both of them had seen many, many rejection letters. This was especially useful for me to hear at the time, because I had just received several rejection letters in a row, and I was beginning to wonder whether I should consider a different career, perhaps returning to New York City to drive a cab, or taking a 9-to-5 job with a more readily achievable job description,” (Psychology Today, Jan 2013).
Oh rejection – you can get me down, but you can’t keep me there! And remember, the OGS is only one email/call/short walk/facebook post/tweet away.