My advisor (Dr. K) mistakenly listed me as the corresponding author when she submitted our paper a few weeks ago. As a result, the rejection letter arrived in my inbox on Friday. I get the unpleasant task of informing Dr. K on Tuesday, when she gets back from vacation.
I've worked for her long enough to know exactly how things will play out. The initial look of defeat, followed by the sad eyes look of I'm sorry, that quickly melts into the cheery realizations that I pushed for submitting to the better journal, and the work consists of ideas that were 100% mine. Whew. She feels better and the lecture ensues. "Now, microbiologist XX...don't feel bad, we can address the suggestions and submit to the journals I prefer" (The preferred journals are similar to a J Bac.) My rejected paper could probably be submitted, as is, to this type of journal and would likely get accepted, but I would rather address the issues raised by the reviewers and resubmit to this journal or a journal with a similar "rating" for the following reasons:
1. The negative comments were very few and weren't really that negative. All three reviewers felt that the evidence for two particular claims that we make to be "thin." However, the reviewers also stated that they thought the conclusions drawn from said evidence were correct. Fortunately, the same issues occurred to me, and as a result, I've already have some of the data. The new results support the original conclusions of the paper and address all the major points the reviewers listed.
2. The reviewers and the editors all made many positive comments about the relevance of the work. Actually, based on the comments in total, I am kind of surprised that the paper was not accepted with modifications. However, it is a good journal that can probably be that picky, which brings me to my next reason.
3. Getting rejected from a better journal leaves you with some great feed back on your work. Also, the experience teaches you about submitting to different kinds of journals and what different journals expect. Since my previous papers were published in J Bac-type journals, I feel like I know what the expectations are. Resubmitting this paper will teach me more about the expectations of journals with higher impact factors.
4. The turn around time for this particular journal is quick, so why not try again. If its rejected again, we send it to journals that fall within the comfort zone with little time lost.
We'll see how it goes on Tuesday when I discuss things with Dr. K.