After a lot of bad luck with publishing, and many many many long hours in the lab, my first (first name) paper has been submitted and the revision has come back. OK! I can do this!
For those of you who are scratching their heads right now, here is a brief overview of how publishing a scientific paper works:
Step 1: Organize your data into a paper, which should convince the scientific community that you have answered an interesting open question in the scientific field
Step 2: Pick a Journal that you think publishes the kind of research you have performed, and send them your manuscript
Step 3: The editor at the Journal can either reject the paper, or send it out for peer-review.
Step 4: Peer-review involves 2-3 scientists, who remain anonymous, reading your paper and trying to pick holes in it. They can either reject the paper outright, accept it as it is, or (in the majority of cases) suggest a series of additional experiments which you can perform in order to fully convince them of your findings and your conclusions.
Step 5: You receive your comments and you enter the revision phase. You have a limited amount of time (in my case, 2 months) to perform the experiments suggested to the Journal and reviewers’ satisfaction.
Step 6: You send the revised manuscript back to the Journal, where the editor will forward it on to the reviewers, at which time they will decide whether or not your revised work is satisfactory. If they are convinced, your paper is accepted and eventually published. If they are not, they reject it and you start all over again with a different Journal.
As of today, I am in Step 5. I can almost taste the sweet victory of publication! But this also means that, for the next two months, I am chained in the lab in order to get this work done on time. Well, here goes! I wont ask you to wish me luck, but… oh I don’t know, hope for me I guess!
Let the great Flying Spaghetti Monster use his various noodley appendages to aid me in multi-tasking and holding various pipettes for me…