I just submitted a paper to a conference. The reviewers gave me their responses only two days before the deadline to resubmit the paper. They seemed to indicate that my paper was on topic, and had good preliminary results, but they seemed to indicate that it was lacking more results. I understand it, and I think they're probably right, but I really don't have the time to invest much more time into this particular paper. My advisor thinks that I should invest my time in other research endeavors, but I don't really want to abandon a paper that i've already invested a lot of time in.

What should you do when you want to salvage a paper but don't have time to correct it?

  • This seems to be too area specific a question. – Suresh May 27 '12 at 0:19
  • @Suresh: In what sense do you mean "area specific"? – Paul May 27 '12 at 0:33
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    What do "more results" entail? More experiments? More theorems? More surveys? More extensive ...s? – Dave Clarke May 27 '12 at 0:39
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    There'll always be other conferences. – Dave Clarke May 27 '12 at 0:57
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    I wondering whether this question would be more interesting if the general problem was abstracted from your specific circumstances. The title suggests a general problem, but the body focuses on a very specific set of circumstances. – Jeromy Anglim May 27 '12 at 3:26

One piece of advice-I-would-not-follow is to submit the paper to a lower quality conference. This could really be a waste of time if the conference is of very low quality, and if you are really proud of the work, do not do this. In the end, this may even look like a black spot on your CV.

What are you doing this weekend? Maybe canceling those plans and using the time to obtain the additional results. Then improve the paper based on the reviewer comments (evenings and other weekends) and resubmit to the next suitable venue.

Another alternative is to get help, either from a colleague or maybe even an undergraduate, if it is easy enough to the him/her how to run your experiments. Reward them with co-authorship, even if they haven't written a word of the paper. (This won't hurt you any.)

Ultimately, you cannot get something for nothing.

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    I had a thought about collaborating with a colleague of mine who has the knowledge and time to run the tests suggested by the reviewers. Does it make sense to approach it this way? – Paul May 27 '12 at 0:55
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    That's actually a good approach. Get help. I'll integrate that into my answer. – Dave Clarke May 27 '12 at 0:56

I guess we work on fairly different domains, because spending significantly more than two days to improve a paper seems negligible to me (writing one good paper a year is already good for me!), even if I agree it would mean submit to another venue in your case. If the referee is right in his or her demands, you should afford to spend a time at least one order below the time already invested in the paper.

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