We're a little crazy, about science!

The (maybe) final paper revisions

Okay, if I wasn’t stressed enough I got an email from hospital-PI forwarding to me the request for our manuscript. The one that I’m currently working on, as in right now. In fact, I’ve stepped away to write this because I really need a break from all that for a moment before I try to wrap it up. There have been so many changes I need to make sure that the entire document is coherent still, which is easier said than done because some of the sentences are definitely not coherent so I need to work back to figure out what we were originally trying to say.

Personally I thought the deadline was back in June or July, so this was kind of a shock. I was under the impression that we just skipped over that journal request and were going to submit our work to some other journal. However, according to the email, the deadline for submission is in just a few weeks. Now that means we are ahead of schedule (at the moment and assuming we submit after I finish the changes), but it also means that there is an actual firm deadline we need to hit and it’s not some nebulous concept that we’re ignoring. Since EVERYTHING is due all at the same damn time, I need to make sure that I wrap this up this weekend so I can turn my attention to other stuff.

Now, how much do I have left?

Well that depends on how you define left. Right now I’m about 80% done with the suggested edits from our co-author. Once that’s done I need to give it one or preferably two full reads to make sure that it all reads well, makes sense, and fits the format requested by the journal (page and/or word length, abstract length, etc). That is why I’m rushing to get the changes done, so I can walk away from it for a few hours before I read it with fresh eyes. Then ideally I can read through it once more tomorrow and send it off to my hospital-PI for final approval before we (I) submit it to the journal.

Since we’re finally (probably, I feel like this is the third or fourth “final” edits round) finishing this paper I will need to organize all the figures from the paper into a nice neat little zip file before we submit, plus there are the supplementary materials that I need to reorganize and make sure that it all fits with the changes that we made to the main manuscript and the figures in that document. This will be the third or fourth time I’ve gotten to this step, so extra caution will need to be taken so I don’t accidentally submit a older figure or something along those lines (which has literally kept me up at night because I’m afraid that is exactly what will happen).

Basically there’s a lot to do and not a lot of time to get it done, which is the theme around here. Run around and scream until something happens just before the deadline, then be amazed that you’re somehow making forward progress on anything at all.

This actually wouldn’t be too bad if it weren’t for the fact that I still feel incredibly exhausted. Probably because I’m still “technically” recovering from surgery. I feel fine for the most part, my ear and nose are both still very sore, but outside of that and the oppressive exhaustion feeling, things are well on that front. Thankfully I have a steady stream of caffeine to help hold me over until I can finish the work.

That’s probably a good tip, feeling unproductive? Consume enough caffeine to cause an elephant a heart attack and you’ll probably be able to do something… maybe.

Short update today, but with everything going on in the background it’s hard to give a longer post. This next week should be interesting though, so stick around. My trajectory could be changing thanks to hospital-PI (here) and I need to figure out exactly what that would look like and if it’s even possible, but I think I may have a plan, or at least an outline of a plan.


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