Saturday, December 5, 2009

Phew! What a week!

I heard back this week about the fate of two of my manuscripts that were grinding through the peer-review process. I should have a really thick skin by now, but I don't think I do. I was getting ready to wind down gracefully in preparation of the upcoming India vacation, when this sweet-and-spicy-tornado hit.

The first one, on ring polymers, got summarily rejected with a editorial note:
Your paper has been reviewed with the aid of two independent reviewers. Their comments are shown below for your consideration. Unfortunately, you will see that they are advising against publication of your work. I am afraid your paper has not been accepted.
which is a polite way of saying buzz off. One reviewer said it was the wrong journal (which I partially agree with), while the other made a few valid, and a few completely addressable scathing attacks. However, I think I am going to check my natural belligerent instinct, and sleep on this one through December.

My other solo-manuscript, on using Bayesian inference as a tool for solving inverse rheology problems, got flattering reviews (the best I have ever received yet!). The more glowing of the two reviews started with:
This is really a breakthrough paper! [...] In fact, my main criticism of the paper is that it does not lay out as well as it should, the possible future uses of this approach for inferring structure from rheology.
I'll take that kind of criticism any day. With mustard and ketchup.

The other review said:
The paper should certainly be published, since it is proposing something that has not been done before in this important problem
So overall, although its 1-1, I feel really good. Great, in fact!

I had mulled over the ideas in the second paper actively for a year (and passively for nearly six). My resolution last year was to undertake two high-risk/high-reward ideas in 2009, and one of them panned out. It sets a clear agenda for 2010 - to polish the rough corners.

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