How a Master’s thesis becomes a peer-reviewed article: Episode 2 – Submission

Well, my little dear has stretched its wings, and is off into the harsh world of peer-review. My co-author and I gave it one last look, I wrote a cover letter, and I sent it off to the editor of Limnology and Oceanography.  Now, all there is to do is wait.

It feels pretty good to have it out of my hands, even though it’s a struggle to wait for news.  Will it be accepted?  How severe will the necessary revisions be? How much more of my life will this paper take before I get to see my name in those proverbial Web-of-Science lights?

But while I’m waiting, I’ll take just a moment to reflect on the submission process.  I’m told that submission to L&O is relatively easy.  After choosing the journal and editing the manuscript to their specifications, all that needs to be done is to write a cover letter that sums up the paper (and toots its horn a bit) and identifies potential reviewers. That part was actually a bit difficult for me; I still tend to think of scientists whose work I read a bit like famous authors – certainly above spending their time to read my silly paper.  Imagine being an English student and identifying Don DeLillo or Barbara Kingsolver as reviewers of your short story!  It may be nerve wracking, but now it’s out of my hands.  Like with everything, one can only do her best, and send the little paper out into the big, bad world to stretch its wings.

Stay tuned. In a few months, I’ll have the next update, with the big reveal of accepted or rejected!

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