Saturday, May 30, 2015

Waiting for my study section to meet

My study section meets on Monday to review the third submission of my R01 on my lab's main project.  When I think about it, I get this tightening in my stomach and feel like I can't breathe, so I thought I'd write a blog post about it. 

One thing that I thought might make me feel better was to look at the roster for the study section, which is posted around this time prior to the review.  I can identify one ideal reviewer who was probably brought on as an ad hoc reviewer specifically for my grant, but I have no idea who the other two reviewers would be.  So looking at the roster just made me more anxious. 

I don't really have much more to say except that if you feel this intense anxiety too while thinking about your grant reviews, you are not alone!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I hate reviewers for low impact factor journals

I'm seriously irritated.

We just got reviews back from a journal with a relatively low impact factor, not terrible, but lower than ideal.  The reason I submitted there is that we have an intriguing finding that was made by a medical student who worked in my lab last summer, but since he was only around for the summer, we don't have a ton of data. It's also not something I want to devote additional resources towards.  But again, he made one main discovery, and I've gone on myself to corroborate this with an additional method, and I've added a few more figures so that there were a couple more points of interest to discuss in a manuscript.  The student really wants to get a publication out so that he can join the medical student honor society, so I told him we'd try to get it published.

I usually start by submitting to journals above where I really think it belongs and then go down the IF ladder from there. But this time I decided to start low so that it would definitely get accepted both for his application to the honor society and so I'd have another last-author publication for my grant review coming up next month.

Well, the reviewers, while overall positive about the manuscript, asked for just as many additional experiments as though it was being reviewed for Nature Genetics.  If we did all of these experiments (or had the will to do them), I certainly wouldn't be trying to publish in this low IF journal.  I know that we need to be scientifically rigorous, but don't reviewers also have to review with the realities of the specific journal in mind?  It's not like they were saying that what we did was bad, they just suggested a million more things to do, none of which would change the conclusion of the paper.

Major revisions.  So frustrated.