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I am a Dr in Statistic. At my PhD journey, I developed four new ideas. During my study, I tried to publish my first paper. Therefore, I sent it to three different high-quality journals. They all rejected it.

The first one said that my method is very reasonable, but the data does not follow the scope of their journal. The second one said that the idea is excellent, but the area that my method was in is a black box. One rejected reasons is that, how can I wrote in this area, alone!!. Another reason is that my paper is out of their journal scope. The last journal rejected it and gave me several comments. All their comments regarding my method were wrong. Their comments reflect that the reviewers are not expert in my area. Then they told me that I should ask someone to be a co-author as they do not expect me to be a sole author for this complicated topic.

After these bad experiences with these three journals, I stopped sending my paper to any journals. After I graduated, I again start writing new research. Then sent it to a new journal. However, it also rejected, as it does only cover a small region. Surprisingly, they have published a region paper that does nothing more than finding the Pearson coefficient between variables! And it has been written by several professors and doctors. While my research does a lot of statistical works.

From these experiences, I found that each journal asked me for my publication record. Therefore, I feel that journals rejected my paper because I have no publication records. As a new researcher, if journals do not publish my paper, so how can I build my publishing record?

My question is: Do you think I cannot publish my paper as a sole author if I have not already had a publication record? In other words, do you think being a sole author (with no publication record) is a reason beyond rejecting my paper?!

How can I publish my paper as a new researcher? Must I include co-author in my research, while they do nothing?!

Any advices, ideas, comments?

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    I do not think all of them reject it because you are the sole author. I think they would like that you have a co-author or other persons who discuss the paper with you before submission, because it sounds like it has some flaws that you do not acknowledge. You blame it on the reviewers, on the journals, on being the sole author, but do not consider that you may still need to invest more work in the paper. If the paper was that good, not all of the journals would have rejected it for dubious reasons. Do not give up, but use the comments that you already got from reviewers to improve the paper. – allo Jul 28 '20 at 11:11
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    " I found that each journal asked me for my publication record." This sounds unlikely. – Anonymous Physicist Jul 28 '20 at 11:12
  • @allo Thanks a lot for your comment. I have acknowledged my supervisors. I did not get any comments. The comments of the last journals were wrong. I have discuss their comments with experts, who agreed that their comments are not true at all. – Maryam Jul 28 '20 at 11:50
  • @Anonymous Physicist Thanks for your comments. It has been happened with me. – Maryam Jul 28 '20 at 11:50
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    You could also try to submit one of your papers to a relevant conference with double blind reviewing process. In such a manner you could ensure that your publication record and lack of co-authors are not considered in the acceptance decision. – Charles Bronson Jul 28 '20 at 12:01
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Publishing is a painful experience, and everybody gets rejected most of the time. That you got 3 rejections on the same paper is perfectly normal. The comments in the reviews can be brutal and sometimes they are wrong. That can be infuriating, especially if they are both. In short, publishing requires a very thick skin; learn what you can from the reviews. Even if the comments are wrong, they may point you to a passage in your paper that was hard to understand. But don't take them personally, and persevere.

Previous publications are not required before publishing, and co-authors are not required to publish. You should definitely not add them "while they do nothing". However, doing a joint project with an experienced researcher can be a valuable way to learn "how the process works".

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  • +1 for "perfectly normal." – The Guy Jul 28 '20 at 12:15
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    This answer seems highly field dependent. It is certainly not the case in all fields that "everybody gets rejected most of the time". – mmeent Jul 28 '20 at 13:10
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    +1 for learning from "wrong" reviews. If the reviewer got confused, chances are other readers will, too. – roger-reject Jul 29 '20 at 7:57
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    I would more strongly make the case that if the reviewer was confused, that is YOUR fault. This means the paper did not explain clearly enough. Your paper should be clear to both people who are experts in your area and people who are experts in semi-related areas. If they criticized something you know to be correct, that means you need to more clearly justify your choices or explain your rationale in the paper. – Dawn Jul 29 '20 at 16:08

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