Grinding the crack – contemplating on rejection times

Our minimum NRT at the time of writing.

Our minimum NRT at the time of writing.

Science is slow and tedious. And that is how it should be. There is a beauty to behold in the accumulated data points in supplementary files and appendixes. A life worth of time, poured into tables. Neatly ordered references with doi numbers. Ordnung.

However, at times science is also dead fast. Try the last months of your PhD, for instance – that time just is surreal. But the fastest of all is NRT – the average timespan between the click on the button on Nature’s submission form to the email back in your inbox with a rejection letter. Most senior scientists I know have tried at least once to publish in Nature or Science, the two most famous journals across disciplines.

Most of them without success.

This makes for great conversation, and it is common to hear people telling stories of their NRT. Our record is 2 hours. TWO HOURS! Damn, that’s fast. A friend of a friend apparently was rejected within 22 minutes. That’s impressive!

At present we are up at 27 hours, 11 minutes and 31 seconds. Pretty good – at least we joke about it in the little cohort of authors. This likely means it will be read properly by an Editor, and hopefully make it out on review.

And if it doesn’t cut it for Nature, I am sure it will find a good home elsewhere – it is a very nice piece of work that taken us 3 years to analyze.

Meanwhile, enjoy Jeb Corlis in his Grinding the crack video. It summarizes the processes of publishing in top-notch journals better than any words could.

Just click it.

For you, Jo.



The final NRT for our manuscript was 49:30:21,92. Something to beat next time. Now this little baby needs to find another journal home


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s