At times I am really frustrated with constant rejections when the papers just fail to make it to acceptance. And if this keeps happening for quite some time, especially when your peers are moving on, how do you deal with it? I am working, trying to address the reviews but somehow at some point, it is getting too much for me.

  • 3
    What level are we talking about? When you are a Ph.D. student, your advisor will be able to help you with this. Maybe the papers are not good. Or maybe the papers are good, but you tried the wrong journal for the paper. Your advisor will help you figure out what is happening.
    – GEdgar
    Feb 19 '21 at 12:53
  • You don't say why you are being rejected. This makes it hard to give realistic advice. It would also be useful to know whether you are a doctoral student or not, and if you have an advisor/mentor.
    – Buffy
    Feb 19 '21 at 14:21
  • 2
    I've suggested this is a duplicate because even though rejection is different than revision, I think the suggestions around emotional detachment may help; if you disagree, please comment and it can be reopened.
    – jakebeal
    Feb 19 '21 at 16:33
  • 1
    It is normal. Even for an experienced person like myself, rejections continue to sting. Constant rejections could simply mean you do not have the skills to publish a good paper. This means you need the help of an experienced author. For example, I just reviewed a paper where the authors think a frog is a lizard, and they do not seem to have read anything on frogs or lizards or realize that their problem is at least 10 years old. Feb 19 '21 at 20:49

It is next to impossible not to be affected emotionally by a rejection of a paper. You put in a lot of time, effort and hard work, so it is a perfectly natural reaction to have a short term issue with motivation. There is no need to suppress this, and it will include quite a bit of frustration if rejections keep happening.

One of the more important things when it comes to publishing is that you are convinced of and positive about your own work and you may have to regain this after a rejection, so that the short term effects do not turn into long term problems. This might be hard to achieve when fighting all by yourself. Everybody needs some positive feedback from time to time. So talking to other people like your advisor or your peers and asking for their feedback will help because if you keep learning from the discussions, your work and your confidence in it will improve.

Of course there is also the possibility that you are working on a dead end with a particular paper. After having overcome the initial emotional response, you should be able to figure out if this is the case, maybe with the help of others. Then it is best to move on and concentratre on other projects with a better chance of succeeding. There is no happiness in working in a dead end. It is impossible from the distance to tell if this is true in your case.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.