BBQs and submissions

Late summer 2016. Vacations are over and the sequencing facility was running at full force again. Our libraries were lining up. At that moment we were participating in one mitochondrial manuscript with another laboratory, but apart from that nothing much had reached the manuscript-stage. It had now been close to two years we had been sequencing large amounts ancient DNA. Much of it, I agree, but nothing much was on the way out yet. It felt more technical than scientific.


Fast forward one year. A very different situation. Now we are living the ketchup-effect. Manuscripts were just accepted for publication, others are bouncing back and forth between us and various journals, and yet some are about to get submitted. Laboratory work is still intense, but now the feeling concerns whether we can actually handle submitting more studies before we have ticked off a few of those that have been submitted already.


Submitting a manuscript feels great. It is the end-point to all scientific work of a study, and what remains is to find a suitable journal to report it in. And by submitting it you have actually made that choice. But before you know it the manuscript is back, with suggestions and demands for changes, deadlines for resubmissions, and eventually there will be a rejection and you have to prepare for a new submission or it will be accepted and proof and agreements etc will follow. Think of it as a BBQ. Hosting a BBQ is a great thing. Who does not like a good BBQ? You send out the invitations and it is fantastic. But then you have to get the food, prepare the party, set up the BBQ device, deal with special requests from guests, prepare for cleaning after the event, etc etc. Maybe it will eventually rain and you have to reschedule the whole thing. Or maybe no-one is interested in your party and you have to cancel for that reason. Arranging a descent BBQ is a major undertaking, and doing eight in parallel must then be eight times as fun, or just plain in sane (that´s what we have shipped off this summer). And when your creative and eager group-member’s reveals that they are about to prepare for yet two more BBQs, that’s when you start looking for an international commercial ship heading for Yokohama you can sign on to as a matron.