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The Media Science

Rejected Papers Get More Citations When Eventually Published 73

scibri writes "In a study of more than 80,000 bioscience papers, researchers have illuminated the usually hidden flows of papers from journal to journal before publication. Surprisingly, they found that papers published after having first been rejected elsewhere receive significantly more citations on average than ones accepted on first submission. There were a few other surprises as well...Nature and Science publish more papers that were initially rejected elsewhere than lower-impact journals do. So there is apparently some reason to be patient with your paper's critics — they will do you good in the end."
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Rejected Papers Get More Citations When Eventually Published

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  • Surprisingly? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:38PM (#41637179)

    Not at all. Papers that were previously rejected benefit from additional, careful revisions by their authors, therefore they end being of higher quality than they would have.

  • Missed steps... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by raydobbs ( 99133 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:39PM (#41637195) Homepage Journal

    People often miss steps when they work on academic papers - such as proofreading, and copy-editing. Remembering to cite sources can be a good reason in of itself to have the paper evaluated by a copy or proof-editor. Just like a novel released for commercial gain, you need to put your best effort forward to get accepted the FIRST time. Failing that, it looks like you can get the establishment to do that for you...assuming you want to be the laughing stock the first time around.

  • Duh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:11PM (#41637553)

    Papers initially rejected are improved based upon the reviews of outside critics. It seems this means they end up being better papers overall. Who'da thunk it!

    As a PhD student I was advised early on that you learn to love the rejections.

  • Re:Missed steps... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WaywardGeek ( 1480513 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:50PM (#41637907) Journal

    I'm bitter about having ALL of my submitted papers (about 9) rejected, other than those where I was invited to present. You forgot to list the MOST important factor: what professor you list as an author, regardless of whether he contributed or not.

    Now, my writing does comparatively suck, and I've never had the patience to do all the leg work as you're suggesting. I don't get paid to write papers after all. Instead I just find out where algorithms can be improved and work on that. In a sane world, publishing algorithmic breakthroughs wouldn't require sucking up to a famous prof. So, my companies patent the stuff, and it's valuable to them, but sharing ideas is what conferences and journals should be all about. They suck.

  • by oneiros27 ( 46144 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @11:15PM (#41639031) Homepage

    I want to know how Rejecta Mathematica [] stacks up to the others.

    (for those unfamiliar with it ... they only take papers that have already been rejected somewhere else, or when the author doesn't want to make the changes that the peer-reviewer is insisting on)

  • by tgv ( 254536 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @03:50AM (#41639963) Journal

    Perhaps 'game changers' is an exaggeration, but only papers that make minor extensions to the existing literature are accepted on first submission. In my (ex) field, papers that challenge a certain view get their share of flak from the reviewers. I've seen papers being shot down (see what I did there?) because the reviewers belonged to a different school. It's of course not always the case, but it does happen too often. One of the reasons is that such papers usually get reviewed by at least one of the opponents, or someone closely involved. Consequently, when such papers get accepted, they generate replies, and thus citations, in contrast to the papers that are in line with the main view.

    I think the conclusion that the GP has a good point and that the conclusion "peer review works" cannot be drawn on.

The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.