After having worked on and off on a research project for five years, it’s finally time for me to put together all the data into an article and get it published. Publishing your data that you have spent so many years to obtain is what every researcher is aiming for. It’s basically the reward for spending all those hours in the lab/office. Sometimes I feel that the reason why I (and probably many others) spend countless of hours in the lab/office is because I want to get published and not because of the curiosity or excitement about science. But I will not dwell on this issue any further; it deserves its own post.
When you want to publish your work, you first have to decide which journal you want to submit your article to. There are so many journals out there and they each have their own topics of focus. Each journal also has an impact factor. The higher the impact factor the more prestigious the journal is. For most scientists, publishing your work in journals like Nature, Science or Cell will forever only be a dream. Once you have chosen the journal and submitted your article to the journal, an editor will decide whether the article meets the requirements of the journal. If it does, the editor sends it to reviewers. Reviewers are scientists who will evaluate your submitted article and then decide whether to reject the article or recommend it for publication. If they like it, they will send it back with some comments for you to respond to (what Isabell is doing right now). If you manage to respond to the comments, the reviewers will recommend it for publication. The whole process from the day you first submit your article until it gets accepted for publication can take as few as a couple of days up to several months. High impact journals usually take longer time since the evaluation process is more rigorous. My first article took six months to be accepted. Hopefully my current article won’t take that long.
Once you get the e-mail from the editor saying that your article is accepted, you can go to the nearest liquor store and buy their finest champagne (if you are rich) and celebrate!
Because you’re worth it!