The publishing process can be frustrating

We have talked about the publishing process before, but the peer review process (work assessed by your fellow scientists) is not always straightforward and rejection of your work always hurts. If the comments are sensible you learn, adopt, adapt and move on, but if the comments are destructive compared to being constructive, it is annoying.

This video gets the feeling across what it can be like if you are not happy with the reviewers comments (apologies if you speak German and can actually see the subtitles are not quite right).

About the author



  • Welcome to the club !
    I tried to publish, a reviewer from Cochrane made good comments and said the article was important in its field ; the second one said that the conclusions were valid but made undue criticisms.
    finally, I did publish in another journal.
    Two months later, the second reviewer was publishing an article on the product I criticized in my article.
    You should read the book from William Broad and Nicholas wade on scientific fraud : Betrayers of the thruth. You will see that you are lucky ; some reviewers are stealing the data to publish under their name.

  • "Two months later, the second reviewer was publishing an article on the product I criticized in my article."

    It's high time this sort of thing is called out for what it is. Another common one is that a reviewer gets a paper to referee on the same subject he/she is working on. Reviewer then delays review in order to write paper on same subject and submits to same journal and lo and behold 2 papers on the same subject appear in the same journal issue back to back. Happens all the time (I know this has been done by people where I have worked in the past). It's the thin end of the wedge in my opinion.

  • This is totally not the forum to be having these debates and is highly unprofessional. We are people suffering from a disease, not academic scientists familiar with the cloak and dagger politics of peer review publishing.

    These posts by MouseDoctor are highly cryptic and confusing. At first I was worried that one of us lay public followers had said something wrong and that it was our fault he was upset.

    • Scientists and clinicians visit this blog too so discussion of these matters where appropriate is valid. The idea behind the posts is to illustrate how progress can be held up/stifled that some may be interested in.

    • Well then maybe you should change your tagline above that states 'A blog for people with MS and their families,' to 'Whatever'.

      No wonder there is always such inconsistency in the world of MS.

    • How rude anon 14.00. I like it that scientists can discuss things in front of us. How do you expect to get progress if you stifle discussion. It's not as if there are too many responses to the blog that you can't get your point heard. If you don't like the blog, don't visit, or don't read the blogs that are not relevant to you. Just because you're uninterested doesn't mean to say that others with MS or their families aren't.

    • It's good for us (patients & families) to learn something of what goes on behind the scenes. Not that it makes the delay and slow progress any less frustrating

    • Anonymous 14.00 If you don't like the blog, there are many others for you to visit (not as good or as wide ranging in my opinion). I think that you're in the minority in your opinions so I suggest the blog should continue exactly as it is.

  • Someone sent me the link to this blog post. I do Outreach for a journal that is actually trying to solve a lot of the problems in publishing, in particular peer review: F1000Research. We publish articles at the start of the peer review process, and all review is done openly, so you can see who the referees are, and what they said. (Referees are still selected the normal way, by recommendations from authors and editors, but they are not anonymous.) Once the reviewers approve the article, it will be indexed in external databases, but all articles exist on our site, even during review. It's been really great to see all the referee comments, and we've had some happy referees AND happy authors.

    Happy to answer any questions! (email is firstname.lastname – fill in as appropriate)

    • I think annoymous papers are a good option, then you do not know if the work is from a demigod or a joe schmoe and you get a constructive review.

      I have seen reviews from the other reviewer where the the paper gets a green light, too early, just because of who the authors are.

      How many authors are happy with the reviewer if their paper gets a good constructive kicking from the reviewer? Are you going to give that constructive kicking when the person knows who you are?…. I suspect not.

      I know someone who has just spent three years anwering reviewers comments to get their paper in a top notch journal. Are they happy with the reviewer? As it has gone in I suspect they no longer care, but to spend 3 years and the paper gets canned which can happen, then I suspect the reviewer would not be that popular anymore.

      If I knew the identity of the reviewer who sat on my paper for 2-3months and did nothing I would take them off my Christmas card list.



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