After a R&R of thesis an R&R article for publication


So, after the chaotic situation of receiving a R&R thesis that I must submit early next year I have received my first 'revise and resubmit' article for publication...

I feel double the looser today.
Working on that article had made me a bit more confident but now I have totally scr*d up in both the thesis and my first major publication, for which (both) I put massive effort and time) I feel like a total loser.

Moreover, no papers of mine become accepted in major conferences on my topic but as a poster only.

It's like academia is showing me the exit.


Revise and resubmit is a very common thing for journal paper writers to get. Don't feel down. Give yourself a bit of distance from the feedback, then take it on the chin, turn it in to a plan, and revise and resubmit. You've got a foot in the door. They've invited you to address their concerns and resubmit. You have every chance of eventual success.

I got a revise and resubmit on my first new journal paper post PhD. But I got on with it, gave it my best shot, and it got accepted. It will be published this autumn, in a very eminent journal.

Since then I've had two other journals give me outright rejections. Now that is bad ;-) But revise and resubmit is a good standard outcome.

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Hi Marasp. So sorry about your article ... but it maybe isn't as bad as it feels. The rubbish articles just get rejected - bucketloads of them! The fact that the editor sent your article to reviewers (or made suggestions him/herself) in reality means that it has great potential for getting published: it is a fact that most people give up and do not either 'revise' or 'resubmit' - which gives those who do a comparatively clear run.

I promise you, even senior, respected academics get submissions pulled apart at the review stage - sometimes with contradictory recommendations :p so do not despair, you are already getting there! Good luck with the revisions - go for it (up)


Don't let this get you down, the vast majority of papers get an R&R and it's really rare to get one accepted outright!! The paper I published from my phd was rejected from the first journal after review, and then I got an R&R from the 2nd journal, before it was accepted.

Now I work in medical communications - we have a team of around 12 phds/highly qualified scientists and writers working with top experts, and nearly every week we get rejections or R&R's. I've been here three months and none of the 20 or so papers submitted in that time have been accepted straightaway. So don't take it as a rejection, take it as an opportunity to make the paper even better after input from experts in your field (i.e. the reviewers), and as long as you do the changes they suggested then the chance of acceptance is high. They wouldn't bother asking you to revise it if they didn't think it was going to eventually get published - that would just be a total waste of everyone's time.

So chin up, and you are most definitely not a loser :-)


I have yet to submit my first own paper but I fully expect to get R&R when I do. Rightly or wrongly it's the way these things go in the majority of cases. And it's better than getting an outright rejection by your first choice journal. I've seen good papers by senior people undergo outright rejection for some petty reasons, so at least your work is still under consideration.

R&R in articles doesn't mean the same as in PhDs, and you shouldn't take this as reinforcement of anything negative. It's the norm really.


Rejection is definitely the norm.

This is my take on journals, however, during the PHD. I have been shrewd/cynical [delete where appropriate] in submitting adapted versions of each chapter of my thesis (I'm in the humanities) to the top publications in my area. I've done this basically to get feedback on my writing and work! So far two have been published and the the 3rd was rejected but with a very nice referees report that underlined the contribution I make to the field but with the point that it needs structural work done to the paper/chapter (which is very true).

This is a good way to go about it I think.

Also always aim for the top journal first and then go down the list. I've had people being very nice to me so I publish in their not so great journal.


Hey Marasp! Certainly no need to feel like a loser- R&R is pretty much the norm for articles that aren't rejected! I published 7 papers during my PhD and all 7 were R&Rs. After some reworking all 7 were subsequently accepted for the first choice journal (some were re-reviewed and others were accepted straight away upon resubmission). As long as you can respond to the comments made by the reviewers then there's every chance your paper will be accepted- you don't even have to make all of the suggested changes if you can put forward a good argument against making them! Good luck! KB


Hi Marasp,

I have to echo Keenbean; I submitted my first article for publication in January, and have just this week received my first response: revise and resubmit. I consider this a great success - even taking the wife out to celebrate tonight! I know that as long as I make the suggested changes then my article is more than likely going to appear in a prestigious journal; that can only be fantastic news. So what if there's a bit more work ahead?

Just think of it as writing a book and sending it to the publisher. There's absolutely no way they're going to just publish it as is. There's months, sometimes years, of to-and-fro feedback, edits, changes, revisions. I don't know any lecturer in my department who have ever been able to publish a journal straight after submitting it. Remember, the editors on those journal boards have reputations, so it's in their interests to scrutinize everything.

As long as it's not outright rejection, I think you should be very happy. And, of course, even if it were rejection, just get back on the horse and crack on. Academia is one long slog, and I expect our work will continually change and revise through the feedback and opinions of others. And rightly so!

Best wishes,