Scientific rejection is a frequent part of the publication process that is rarely explicitly discussed. Peer review is an essential and well-established part of the scientific method. But to what degree is manuscript rejection indicative of scientific inadequacy? Here we quantify the extent to which a sample of scientists with successful publication careers in our discipline, ecology, have experienced manuscript rejection. We show that publication success and manuscript rejection are definitely not exclusive. Notably, we find that the ecologists with the highest number of publications also suffered the largest proportion of manuscript rejections. Rejection is not easy even for the most successfully publishing ecologists; however, manuscript rejection does not seem to have deterred our respondents or to have hampered their career advancement. We hope that our results will encourage ecologists (and particularly research students) to continue submitting their studies for publication.
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Vol. 54 • No. 3