When I was pursuing my Ph.D. degree, I published 4 first-authored studies and 1 third-authored paper. All first-authored papers were published in decent journals, not the first-ranked journals but still decent, second level. I published 2 more first-authored studies in those second-level journals within the first year after my graduation. Since then, I have only published 1 study in a journal that doesn't have impact factor. I have a long list of studies that were rejected 3-4 times by different journals.
I don't know what's wrong. If it's my problem, I don't know how I could possibly publish quite a few papers when I was just a Ph.D. student. My advisor helped me mainly with writing, so those studies were mainly completed by me, from literature review to study design, data collection,analysis, etc.
If it's not my problem, what's the problem? I want to say I have bad luck. This March I received a rejection letter from a mid-level journal. One reviewer didn't read my paper because he/she said I reported my R square wrong, but in fact I conducted a different type of regression analysis, so he/she was wrong. Another reviewer said my literature was outdated and that's it, which is a problem that could be fixed. But even with this type of crappy reviews, the editor still rejected my paper. This morning I just received another rejection letter, but the journal didn't send my paper to at least two reviewers. Instead, one associate editor read it and criticized a lot of design issues of my study. This paper was reviewed at two top journals, where it was rejected but reviewers gave promising and constructive comments. So I used those comments to edit my study and send it to two mid-level journals. But still got rejected and criticized as if it was a crap. I have no luck with my publication and it has been two years. I'm no nervous and frustrated. I even start to doubt if I should continue to stay in academia.
Thus, my question:
After successfully publishing several papers in good journals during my PhD, why am I getting so many rejections after my PhD?