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Revista Española de Cirugía Oral y Maxilofacial

On-line version ISSN 2173-9161Print version ISSN 1130-0558

Rev Esp Cirug Oral y Maxilofac vol.31 n.3 Barcelona May./Jun. 2009

 

CARTA AL DIRECTOR

 

I'm an addict

Yo tengo mono

 

 

Mr. Director

I'd like to explain myself; during my professional life I have submitted many articles to National and International Magazines within the scope of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Intensive Care, Anesthesiology, Reanimation and Treatment of pain. The majority of these projects refer to techniques and/or personal procedures that could contribute to advancement or improvement of what we know. Although I have seen and treated many somewhat extraordinary clinical cases with acceptable results none of the articles that I have published discussed these cases.

Besides the work that all of this entails and the fact that the ideas do not just appear out of nowhere. When this happens you have to elaborate on them for their corresponding development and use, despite the thousands of difficulties (sometimes you even reach the point where you say, my God please let this be it). Right afterwards you have to try to publish your work in Magazines related to your professional field.

It happens, to me at least, when you finally elaborate the article for the possibility of publication, trusting in the tyranny. Not always important and perhaps in some way more or less unintelligible( because each magazine has its idiosyncrasies in its publication procedures) as a result they send them back to you so you can make corrections in the text, the translation, the photos, the drawings, the bibliography etc. But I am not going to deny it: I have and still receive letters from a few specific editors with more or less the following content: "Not accepted for publication in our magazine... Thank you and hope to remain in contact for your possible participation in future publications etc."

Because of all of this, I want to try to contribute one more time and, with certain originality, what happens to me, in case something the same or similar happens to others. All of this is intended to humanize the selection process according to the diverse phases that I have defined from my experience over many years. I hope that those affected by similar situations see that it doesn't just happen to them. I would like to provide them with support and the ability to get out of the trauma that I dare to name Articlist Syndrome. Which will probably come from my thoughts and additional symptoms that have yet to be determined.

Phase I Excitement: Finally, after all kinds of effort you send your, more or less, impeccable manuscript(at least your friends and family tell you "Come on, it's great", especially today with all of the forms of information available, it seems that we all know how to use so skillfully). This stage of merely preparing the article can last a few months because as we all know, you work on it for a while and then you leave it alone for a while, etc.

Phase II Uncertainty: Finally you get the news that your article arrived successfully to the editorial staff, however more often than not, something is missing! Of course, you send them what they ask for and now, new news arrives that everything is correct (and you feel the same way as in phase I) if you watch them they typically answer in a timely manner that everything is fine (sense of relief). This period usually is relatively short.

Phase III Worried Excitement: This phase can last an eternity, even today with so much advance, remember the situation, a portion of what seems to happen in the court room in which the resolution to the problem is pretty clear ,you (at least I) think of every possibility: they must have lost the file, the Magazine director has it out for me, the reviewers have a lot of work, or lets see who they sent it to because when they see its mine they'll deny it right away especially if they don't have a sense of humor.

Phase IV the moment of Truth: Now, usually, you will get an e-mail with your "sentence". If the attachment is there (because sometimes it isn't attached, it doesn't download, or it doesn't open) then the verdict is in (in my case usually an unfavorable one!). Which has an emotional impact, for now, without neurovegetative repercussions and I am able to react with a sense of good sportsmanship and controlled rage. This transforms little by little into the quest for how to handle the rejection, always personal (say what they say) so that your effort doesn't seem insignificant (its time to think: Well I'm going to send it to another magazine" because you think what you sent isn't bad! It's just not fair and that's that).

Years ago when you were waiting for a response from an editorial and you opened the mailbox day after day and nothing came. Until finally, you saw a big envelope covered in foreign stamps and you thought "They sent it back!" which was usually the case (but you just wanted a normal envelope with foreign stamps and colorful postmarks, is that to much to ask?).

Phase V Infinite Happiness: (This happens very rarely) I've been accepted! You kiss your wife and, in my case, your daughters and your esteem is soaring at unforeseen heights (good hormones are released and have their positive effect and you notice increased immunity and self esteem among others...) and it lasts forever!

Phase VI Deception: (The most common) You decide whether to continue sending projects or to just say screw it. In the end after a short time, you give into your urge and you send another article, you wait etc. recover from your addiction (will it all start again?).

 

Dr. F. Hernández Altemir
Zaragoza. España

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