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So the problem goes as follows: we submitted a manuscript to a top-tier conference and got strong rejects. We then submitted to another top-tier conference (after incorporating the feedback of the prior review) and also got strong rejects. The main author of the idea (the one who had the idea but did no work formalising it) wants to keep resubmitting to top-tier conferences and disregard the reviewers comments. But I think differently: the idea is not novel enough, the paper might be better suited for a lower tier conference. What can be done in this case? Any advice on how to convince someone that it is ok to submit to lower tier conferences?

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    Tough question. That linked question is interesting but I suspect you've already considered everything discussed or else you wouldn't be asking this in the first place. I think the details matter. What is your relationship with the main author? Is there a specific reason they insist on higher tier conferences? Are there other co-authors that might have an opinion? Is there some middle ground you could agree to - for instance submit to one more higher tier conference and then move down the list?
    – sErISaNo
    Commented May 24, 2023 at 6:12

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How close are you to the coauthor, in terms of friendship? If you have a good relationship with them, the best approach is honesty. For example:

"This is a nice paper, and I enjoyed working with you, but I think that we are past the point of thinking this will get into a top-tier journal/conference. I wish it were, but the editors have spoken. I have a lot of things going on right now, and we all need to move on. Let's submit to a lower journal."

If the relationship with the coauthor is not good, e.g. they are delusional, then there's no point in softening the blow, since you should not be working with them in the future anyway. Something like this might work:

"I am a coauthor and with that comes the right to opine on the journal/conference appropriate for this submission. You've chosen 3 times and failed, now is my turn to choose. I won't sign off on any more submissions until I have a say about the journal."

I've been in situations similar to yours. The last time it happened, I made a deal with the coauthor that after one more rejection, I got to rewrite the intro and submit to a journal of my choice. It was rejected by their journal, then accepted quickly in the journal of my choice (a solid, 2-nd tier journal.)

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  • Yes! I think this is the best idea. The other coauthors also are of the opinion of submitting to lower-tier conference but unfortunately the author that is fixed in top-tier is kind of our boss. So we will have to redo the paper again and resubmit to another top-tier conference…
    – Apex90
    Commented May 25, 2023 at 0:15
  • But yes I won’t be working with them anymore.
    – Apex90
    Commented May 25, 2023 at 0:18

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