Last night I got an email from the editorial assistant for a journal I had submitted a manuscript to. It's accepted, with no further revisions. That in itself is great, but I have to share the long story on this one:
Fall, 1998: My first semester in graduate school. I'm assigned as a research assistant for a new assistant professor in my department. We decide on a project together, collect data, and analyze it over the following semester.
Winter, 1999 and Winter, 2000: We do conference presentations on our project, which get lukewarm receptions.
2001: We submit our paper to a top-tier journal, get a revise and resubmit, do revisions and resubmit, then get rejected.
2003: Repeat the process, complete with revising, resubmitting, and getting rejected, only for a different journal.
2005: Repeat the process, complete with revising, resubmitting, and getting rejected, only for a different journal. This time, I'm first author, as the assistant professor has now got tenure, and I'm an assistant professor in need of publications myself.
2007: Thinking we have invested too much time in this project to give up now, we revise it again, and submit it to a different journal. We get mixed reviews, and -- of course -- an option to revise and resubmit. We do that, of course, and then one of our reviewers gets a bit pissy. The editors ask us to respond to the reviews.
2008: We respond to the pissy reviewer, pointing out that we actually did do everything he/she asked us to do, and we wait. Then last night, the email! We're accepted! As is, with just one little correction in the reference page!
I'll tell you, I jumped out of my chair screaming when I got that email, and I haven't stopped grinning about it yet. Is this a cautionary tale? A critique of journal reviewers and/or editors? A story of persistence? Yes, yes, and yes. But damn it feels good to see that thing (which I really have grown to love) head out to print. Yeah, us!