Gerad Taylor

Your grant went unscored; the review panel returned the manuscript without review. Your reaction may reveal how well you deal with rejection, and even whether you want to pursue a science career.

Still angry? You say the reviewers were, um, less than intelligent? That may not be a constructive reaction, according to studies and experts. A study by ecologists Phillip Cassey of Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris and Tim Blackburn of University of Birmingham, UK, examined failure-to-publish rates and attitudes of ecologists who had published in leading journals.1

"Who gets rejected? Everyone," they write. On average, 22% of each survey participant's papers were rejected at least once. Views of rejection were found to depend on rejection rate. For example, ecologists with higher rejection rates were more likely to blame poor refereeing or faulty editorial processes than were those with lower rejection rates. Those with the low rates...

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