We're a little crazy, about science!

Journal paper update

With all the things going on I never got the chance to talk about some non-class news. The downside is it’s not good news, but on the scale of horrible things to happen recently it’s not that bad. Back in February I submitted a paper for journal publication and we got rejected. Not great news, but the reviewers were not super critical and with some minor changes we should be able to resubmit it. I figure today we can go over the stuff that needs to happen now since I’m the first author.

Over the course of the last year a few of us in the state space class I took last year wrote a paper (more here). It was a labor of love, okay more like a labor of spite. I got it done though despite some trouble with my classmate and the level of work he was willing to do. We submitted it (or rather the senior author submitted it for us) and we waited. It’s been a long three months and I was anticipating the response for the past few weeks now. Interestingly some of it is going to be helpful changes, others not so much.

For example, two of the reviewers had feedback for us. The first suggested a list of papers to cite in our paper, this kind of recommendation always makes me a little nervous because I haven’t read any of the papers the reviewer suggested and there’s a reviewers requesting their papers get cited thing that happens. Not saying this is that case, but it still makes me nervous. I have some reading to do though.

The second reviewer had some excellent points for us to address and I plan on making most of the changes they suggested. Out of the two reviewers it was obvious that the second one really took the time to look over the paper and was incredibly through with his critique. There was also a disagreement between the two reviewers.

The first said that our motivation was unclear. The second said explicitly that our motivation for the paper was well described. Things like this aren’t uncommon, but it’s still funny to me to see that happen. While this means more work, it also means some forward progress with getting the paper actually published. The timing is good since it’s the end of the term and I can focus on some of this now without other distractions.

I’ve emailed the rest of the students on the paper and I’m coordinating a meeting to go over the reviews and how to address them. I’m hopeful this will be minimal work since I have a million other things I want to be doing right now and a summer I hope to enjoy. With some luck we’ll resubmit it and have it accepted. Fingers crossed anyway!

A short update, but I’m exhausted. There’s a few things I’ve got left to do, but at least things are slowing down some.


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