On the board

There is a noticeboard on the corridor wall for our research group. It has pinned to it people’s photos and names, a few odd university notices, emergency information, and copies of published papers produced by people in the research group. Very soon I will have a paper to pin on the board, with me as first author. I found out very late Tuesday night that my revised paper has been accepted for publication.


Yes, it’s still real. The email from the journal says “we would like to accept your manuscript … in its current form for publication”. I’m not dreaming.

At some level, it does feel like this has been something of a charmed process. The writing itself has been hard slog and has taken a long time. To be fair, the first time you do anything it tends to take a long time because you’re learning. It was around a year between the seminar presentation that inspired the idea for the paper to submitting the initial version to the journal I’d selected. To be even more fair, it was not the only thing I was doing. I know some people who have waited six months or more to hear back from journals about an initial submission. I had substantial reviewer comments in around three-ish months, so I count that as pretty sharp work on the part of the journal. It was just over 5 weeks between submitting my revised version and receiving the email accepting it for publication.

I realise that not all submission-to-publishing processes are so efficient and prompt, but I’m delighted with this as my first experience of submitting a paper for publication. Bolstered with this, I feel a bit more ready to deal with the less ideal experiences with publishing that are almost inevitable in the world of academic publishing. I have had my ideas and writing blind-reviewed by scholarly peers in a journal that publishes work I respect. My work has been accepted as being at ‘scholarly peer’ standard rather than ‘student’ standard. That feels really good. To borrow the image from an earlier post, I’ve not only pulled up a chair and sat down, now I’ve been given a warrant to join the conversation.

Other things are nice about this too. Now I have already demonstrated my capacity to produce work of a scholarly standard. I’ll be able to include the published paper in my thesis and it contributes to the research-based funding ‘points’ for my supervisors as well. It also means I have the beginnings of my publication section for my academic CV. Yes, there are flaws with the academic publishing system and the uses to which it is increasingly put. For now, I’m content to celebrate the good stuff about this for me personally and professionally.

And make a celebratory cake to share with the office!

PhD Game:

You betcha this is a LEVEL UP!

“Author, author!” Achievement Badge for First Publication as First Author.

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