A recent experience highlighted to me the folly of the high stakes game of going down the status chain of descending impact factors:
Nature -> Science -> Nature X, PNAS -> PRL, JACS -> PRB, JCP.
Two significant problems with this game are:
1. A lot of time and energy is wasted in strategising, rewriting, reformatting, and resubmitting at each stage of the process. Furthermore, if there are multiple senior authors each stage can be particularly slow.
2. Given the low success rates the paper often ends up in PRB or a comparable journal (J. Chem. Phys., J. Phys. Chem.) anyway!
I have followed this route and it has been a whole year between submission and publication.
In contrast, on 28 July I submitted a paper as a regular article to J. Chem. Phys. and it appeared online on 10 September!
I have also had papers published in PRA and PRB much faster than in PRL.
Why is speedy publication valuable?
- The sooner it is published, the sooner that some people, particularly chemists, will take it seriously.
- The time and mental energy that is saved can be spent instead doing more research and writing more papers.
- A few months can be the difference so you can list the paper as published on the next job application, grant report, or grant application.
- The sooner it is published the sooner it will start getting cited.