If you remember, in my previous essay My Paper Road to Academia, my big plan was to write lots of academic papers. So far I have written eight papers this year (seven of them are uploaded to the arxiv). I also have ideas and partial results for 19 more papers, but I have stopped writing them. Here is the story of My Paper Road Block.
I started sending my papers to different places, where they were rejected. Then I was invited to the Gathering for Gardner. Participants are allowed to publish their paper in the proceedings of the conference, but we have to pay for it. So this publication really felt more like adding insult to injury than a lucky break.
Finally I realized that I can put three lucky letters — M, I, and T — on my papers. I don’t remember if I told you that I am currently holding a visiting scholar position at MIT.
I continued sending my papers out without receiving any positive response. As a result of these rejections and the long waiting periods to receive an answer, my writing process slowed down until it halted.
To my delight, a month ago I received letters of acceptance for three papers, almost simultaneously. Here is the tally so far for my eight papers:
- The number gossip paper for the Gathering for Gardner, which I can’t count as a reviewed publication.
- A paper which I’m too superstitious to describe because I am still waiting for the response.
- Three papers which were accepted.
- Three papers which were rejected (one of them twice).
The funny part is that on all the accepted papers I was affiliated with MIT, and on all the rejected papers I was not.
To be fair, I have to admit that there might be another explanation. All the accepted papers were sent out later in time. Perhaps I’m getting better at choosing the right journals.
Because of inertia, I’m still not writing papers. On the positive side, I have more time to write for this blog, and it is much more rewarding. Sometimes I reject my own essays. Sometimes I send them to myself for revision. But I judge my pieces on quality, not on my affiliation.Share: