I've been in academia for roughly 8 years now. Wrote quite a few papers. Still, my heart starts seriously racing each time there's an email notifying me of a review for one of my papers. Does anyone have any good tips on how to be less stressed out about this?

  • 3
    I have co-authored 100+ papers, and it's still exactly like that (at least for every important paper). I don't think this is abnormal, even though some colleagues seem to pride themselves in not really caring whether a paper is accepted or not (I don't get this sentiment, personally).
    – xLeitix
    Jan 29, 2019 at 11:45
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    @mhwombat The related question of How can I clear myself of emotional attachment when reading reviewer feedback? has been asked, but I think that one is more about the reaction to the actual comments, not the reaction to the notification.
    – Anyon
    Jan 29, 2019 at 15:22

2 Answers 2


I've been in Stack Exchange for roughly 5 years now. Wrote quite a few questions and answers. Still, my heart pumps each time there's a notification of a comment for one of my posts.

No, I don't think you can escape from the fear of being rejected for something you emotionally invest into it. As long as it doesn't affect your health, you may want to feel relax when it's come.

Acknowledge your fear, and tell yourself that that fear is not scary may reduce the stress of not being able to control your fear. The fear from the notification is unavoidable, but the stress from not being able to control your fear is a secondary stress that you can control. Take a breath. Accept the fear.

If anything, I suggest you to practice mindfulness. It's a technique to not being overwhelmed by our emotions, and has been recognized as an effective way to reduce stress. It has been used in many programs and therapies for stressful people.

• Germer, C.K., R.D. Siegel, and P.R. Fulton, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy (Guilford Publications, 2005)
• Hofmann, S.G., An Introduction to Modern CBT: Psychological Solutions to Mental Health Problems (Wiley, 2011)


I thought it was just me :)

Here is a tip: wait until 3 or 4 days before reading the email. (At least in my field), you can know immediately if your paper is accepted or rejected by just looking at the title of the email.

  • If the paper is accepted, say congratulations to your co-authors, and leave it there for a couple of weeks. Why? because even when the paper is accepted, the reviewer often suggest too many things to correct. For some reasons, I often feel emotionally exhausted that I don't want to do anything with that paper.
  • If the paper is rejected, of course you are very disappointed. Wait for a couple of days until you can calm down and read the reviews.

Of course, my answer is not applicable to rebuttal when you often need to respond to the reviews within 3 days.

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