I started my academic career on a high – so much potential, so high hopes. I immediately started working on a systematic literature review on a type of behavioral intervention for students with autism. Here is my long trek in the valley of despondence.
October 2013: Submitted manuscript to Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
March 2014: Decision – revise and resubmit, but reviewers wanted statistical analyses which we were not willing to attempt, so decided not to resubmit
March 2014: Submitted to Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities (ETADD)
June 2014: Feedback came – manuscript too long, need to shorten. Took them three months to tell us that!
July 2014: Submitted shortened version to ETADD
October 2014: Decision – rejected
January 2015: Submitted to Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice
April 2015: Decision – rejected
July 2015: Submitted to Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs
September 2015: Withdrew manuscript from the journal. Editorial board was going through editor change and the manuscript was just sitting there.
January 2016: Submitted to International Journal of Disability, Development and Education (IJDDE)
May 2016: Decision – revise and resubmit
September 2016: Resubmitted to IJDDE
December 2016: Decision – rejected
January 2017: Submitted to International Journal of Special Education
October 2017: Decision – accepted. I found out by accident that the paper was published in IJSE. The journal did not inform me of their decision.
Each submission to a new journal took more work. Some journals do not follow the APA format, and I had to reformat the whole document. Some journals use British spelling, and I had to recheck the document. Furthermore, since it was a literature review, it was also nearing its expiry date before I had to add newer articles.
I’m a little heartbroken that the manuscript that I worked so hard on went to an unranked journal. But my perseverance was running out.
Perhaps I should write about my slog in the swamp of despair next? I have yet to see the light at the end of that swampy tunnel yet.