Am I the only top identifier who haven't published any article?

As you can see. I rank 3rd in Mantis(Mantodea) and 5th in Katydid(Tettigoniidea). I help much to those gruop, by identifying, reviewing and even recognizing rare and new species.
But just now, after rewiewing for more than one month, Zootaxa, the second journal I submitted my article told me it will be withdrew. They said the paper contains too little information to be published. The first journal was Oriental Insect. The article is about a species of rare Tetrigid. I took its first photo of living individual in my personal collecting trip, and recorded its ecology. Then I invite Josip Skejo to help me do some revisions in its Genus and fill in the article with me. All the research is completely by my enthusiasm, without being support or require by my institute.
By some reasons I haven’t achieved much in my college career. I lost in the Recommendation of postgraduate, in the postgraduate entrance exam, in scholarships. All my hope and honor is on this article. I have nothing to lose, I just want to achieve something before my graduation, which is in about two months. I don’t have more time to change the journal. It is my first article and I put all my hope and honor on it. I told everyone I will publish the article on SCI journal. But now I will become a cheater.
It is tricky. I am not deserved to be the top identifier.

I mean, I’m 4th for Syrphidae and I haven’t published an article. I’m #1 for many genera and I haven’t researched them extensively.

I don’t think there is such thing as deserving to be the top identifier for something. It’s just a role that someone will always fill, that helps users determine who to tag on observations that they need help with. There isn’t really any responsibility attached to it.

I’m not sure why you’re calling yourself a cheater, it doesn’t seem that you’ve “cheated” anything. You have a lot of control over your article getting published: if they say it has too little information, add information. I guess it sounds simple but with the topic it might be more difficult.

Don’t blame yourself, if they don’t want to publish your article, try a different site. Or add to the article and make it irresistible.


I don’t have enough time to try another journal. I would try to add to the article if they let me to do so.

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Do not be daunted by rejection. It is not the end of the world though it may seem so at the beginning of the carrier.Do you know how many articles are being rejected? Even ones by experienced researchers. Some rightfully, some not so. I remember a talk at the dinner with colleagues from all over the world. Everyone shared rejection experiences and rejection records. One very respected researcher in my field told that his record was 20 minutes after submission. My personal record was two hours. And? I published it (very successfully) in another journal. If your article was rejected not by editor but after reviews, check the points that were listed by the reviewers and, if not fatal, supplement the text with required parts. If you feel that the material is indeed worth publishing. And - scientific articles and leaderboards on iNat are not necessarily the same group of things.


If I have enough time, I can try again and again.
But the fact is I want to make it before my graduation, and there are only two months left.

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It can still be done. Evaluate what were points that were showed as lacking and concentrate on them. If it helps, recently we had practically to re-write a major article after reviewers decision “major changes required”. In one month. It was scary, but we managed (barely).


Ask the editors if you can add to the article and re-submit it. See what they say. But if they say yes, make sure you add some significant new data before you resubmit it.

Also, try to find out what journals are out there which are not as high-powered, and if this one says no to the idea of your resubmitting, then consider submitting your paper to a less high-powered journal.

You may be able to achieve all that in two months time. All you want is for the piece to be accepted. It doesn’t have to be actually published within two months.

And if it takes longer than that, that is also OK.


I’m the top identifier of Noctuidae in Canada. I have never published a paper, nor do I want to. I don’t even think of myself as an expert. I just like identifying moths.
As for papers, they can be rejected for a huge number of reasons. A scientist I worked with ran an experiment on moth pheromones that contradicted the work of a ‘peer reviewer’. It was rejected several times, and finally published in a smaller, less well known journal. Keep your chin up!


Thank you for your encouragement. But I see you have your degree in University. How can you make it to get the degree without publishing papers?
Maybe I am confined in the mode of Chinese education. Most of our postgraduate and PhD student need to have their articles.
I am undergraduate now though.


I have an Undergraduate degree, and was not required to submit a formal paper. Masters and PhD (in the sciences) generally submit a thesis, although not all do. This is Canadian practice - I don’t know how it works in China. But I wish you good luck!


We have a degree on the same level as PhD named Candidate of Sciences and you have to be published at least 3 times to get it.


The system in China is tough (I know I’m here), publishing a scientific paper within two months (or 4, or even 8) is not something that should be that important for your studies (and it does not help science), and as people said above, keep your chin up, keep going, you will get there. It’s not because Zootaxa was not interested that you are cheating, and there will be another journal that will want your article. Also, ID leaderboards and scientific publications are not related. Keep IDing, for fun!


Why I want my article published in two months is that my institution want to interview me and write a report for me, but need my article accpeted first. And I also hope I have something that is worth to be reported myself.
I know I need to chin up. I have suffer to many failures in my college life, Every time I told myself to be strong, but the power of word is limited, sometime it really needs something realistic. That’s why I ask if there is any public welfare award for outstanding iNat user a few days ago. I really want to achieve something in my college life, anything that I get will encourage me. It can be publishing article, and report is, too. But for now it seems that it become a frastration for not getting them. Then I fall into an endless loop.


An advise from an old been there seen that: DO NOT concentrate on failures. Never ever. So you failed - it happens. To everybody - even to most successful (seemingly) people. Go forward. Do not even try to analyse your failure. If there is something obvious sticking out of it, just remember to avoid that in the future. Otherwise leave it behind. Do not make a daisy chain of your failures and do not wear it. There are two golden phrases (coming from different sources) which you must always remember: “This will also pass” and “I will think about it tomorrow”.


In Germany the typical way to get your PhD is also by publishing at least 3 papers. However, the old-fashioned way is to write a monograph with all your results. Basically nobody who aims for a future in science is going that way, as of course papers are like a currency in this messed-up science world to sell you to the next employer. It´s difficult if you cannot show that you can successfully publish.

I was very unlucky to run into an massive, but (back then) unfortunately very influential a-hole with my very first paper. By now he was conived of fraud and cause a huge, still ongoing quake in the field of behavioural science. But that did not help me back then, when my passion for the field of science was crushed. It showed me a very ugly face of this whole process which has more to do with luck and connections than one would wish for. At least science proved again that it is able to correct itself and even faster than I expected in the end. I did finish my PhD, with a monograph, which is doable and publish(ed) my results later. I don´t know if this is at all possible for you?

Good luck! One needs to be a strong character to deal with all kinds of negativity in science. Being rejected and short on time is a regular constant :-)


Publishing a scientific paper as an undergraduate is great, but very difficult, not only because writing is a skill that takes practice, but also because it often takes a long time as you have encountered. Many (probably most!) folks with PhDs didn’t publish a paper while they were an undergrad, so the fact that you have even written and submitted one is a serious accomplishment! Most undergrads that do publish, especially as first authors, don’t have their papers actually published until after they graduate just because of how long the process takes.

Rejection is a common part of science. That doesn’t make it easy to accept (especially the first time), but it does mean that you are in good company. Every professional scientist I know has had a paper rejected (and generally, many, many more than that!).

I don’t know much about the specific subfield you are publishing in, but two general options you can look at are:

Open access journals which are often quick and don’t care about how novel the findings are. These often do cost money, but some are more reasonably priced or offer discounts for undergrads (like PeerJ).

Society or Regional journals: These may have a lower impact factor (which is overrated anyways) but often have editors willing to work with you and are read by people that would be interested in the organisms or locations you are working with.

Heck, I just got a rejection myself last week. We’ve revised the text some to address some of the concerns and will resubmit in the next week, so quick turnarounds are possible (though who knows how long it will take to review!).


It’s important to fit the article to the journal. As @cthawley says, regional and society journals are often the best place for short articles. One of your professors or someone else in your field may be able to recommend one.

Life can be hard as you face graduation and the great changes it will bring, especially in this year with the stress of coping with the pandemic. Your career and personal futures are impossible to predict but will likely be good in ways you cannot expect now.

By the way, I published my first small articles while my “career” was being the wife of a farmer. A great North American Carex (sedge) taxonomist was a businessman, not (officially) a botanist. Whether you go forward in education or business or ???, I hope you maintain your interest and skills in insects. I think you can make valuable contributions.


Based on your description of your article, Zootaxa sounds like an inappropriate journal for it. They explicitly look for large taxonomic works with a lot of data, not descriptions of the natural history of a species like your study sounds.

As others have said, you should look for smaller, society journals, etc. Aiming to have it accepted in two months is unrealistic and certainly will not happen, unless you would submit to a predatory journal (do not do it). Publishing is a slow process, and there is not much you can do about it other than to choose the best fit journal, submit the best quality manuscript you can, and suggest good, responsive reviewers.


I chose Zookeys later. I heard that it is good and fast. I might submit it as a short communication and I hope it will make more senses.
The reason that reviewers think the paper contains too little information to be published in Zootaxa. But both my co-author and a Mantodea taxonomist friend all found my article is better than some simpler and even worse articles published in Zootaxa and Oriental Insects where I have submitted my paper, weird.

Reviews just said the paper contains too little information. But my co-author believe it is good enough. I ask some of my friend and they also agree, and point out there are some worse articles but published.

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