80% of papers get rejected: how do younger researcher deal with paper rejections?

Feb 1, 2024

Facing rejection can be a difficult pill to swallow at the beginning of your research career. For this reason, on 30th January 2024, up to 30 researchers from Agrotecnio gathered for a new edition of the Early Career Forums. On this occasion, the topic was “How to deal with paper rejections?” in a session organized with a new format thought for brainstorming and sharing in small groups that mixed up researchers from different backgrounds and levels of experience.

Eber Rojas, researcher from the Bovine Reproduction group and founder of these forums, opened the session with an introduction in which he gave the number than more than 80% of papers get rejected. Right after, Giada Centenaro, representative of Agrotecnio younger researchers, explained the dynamics of the session: a brainstorming activity to discuss about the reasons why a paper can get rejected followed by a sharing activity in which participants explained personal experiences and groups could develop a list of lessons to be learnt.

Next, Ashwin Vargheese moderated a debate for defining the “key” reasons for paper rejections as well as possible suggestions to avoid them, such as to make sure research questions are robust and data is complete to avoid rejections based on poor methodology or incomplete data. One of the issues that came up along the debate was the importance of not letting oneself get carried away by negative thoughts in the face of rejection: receiving a paper rejection is common and does not mean that one is a bad researcher, but probably that some things need improvement or could have been done differently.

To end the day, the coffee company Cafés Batalla organised a Brazilian coffee tasting in which attendants could learn to better identify common coffee tastes and smells, as well as the types of coffee most commonly consumed in Spain and their particularities.

Photo album will be available soon in this same article.