An Article about Reasons for manuscript rejection

The below article is copied and pasted From to remind me of this article.


Rejection is the norm in academic publishing. Even researchers at the top of their field have experienced rejection. Several peer-reviewed studies have investigated the reasons that journals reject papers. Listed below are the most common rejection reasons cited in these studies.

Lack of originality, novelty, or significance
One of America’s leading newspapers, the New York Times, recognized the truth that “journal editors typically prefer to publish groundbreaking new research.” Academic journals are constantly on the lookout for research that is exciting and fresh. Many authors tend to cite the reason that “this has never been studied before” to explain why their paper is significant. This is not good enough; the study needs to be placed in a broader context. Authors should give specific reasons why the research is important, for example, the research could affect a particular medical intervention, it could have a bearing on a specific policy discussion, or it could change a conventional theory or belief.

Mismatch with the journal

Many manuscripts are rejected outright by journals, before they even undergo peer review, because the manuscript is not appropriate for the journal’s readership or does not fit into the journal’s aims and scope.

Flaws in study design

Even a well-written paper will not mask flaws in study design. Indeed, this is a fundamental problem that must be resolved in the initial stages of the study, while conceptualizing the study.

Poor Writing and Organization

It is very important for authors to present a persuasive and rational argument in their papers. You should be able to convince readers that your research is both sound and important through your writing.

Inadequate preparation of the manuscript

Non-English-speaking authors often confront an additional problem: peer reviewers do not always distinguish between the manuscript content and style of writing. Thus, their manuscripts may end up getting negative comments even if the research is of high quality.

However, all the problems in this category are easily fixable, either by asking a native English speaking friend or colleague to review the paper or by getting the paper professionally edited and formatted.


Ideas to replace everyday email phrases

Note: The contents below is copied from the following blog:

1. Hope you’re well
I hope this finds you in good spirits
I trust all is well with you
Hope all is fine

2. I’m just following up/touching base/checking in…
In my previous email I mentioned…
I’m getting in touch once more to…
I’d like to reach out again…

3. It’s great to hear from you
It’s a pleasure to hear from you
I’m pleased to receive your email
It’s nice to be in touch with you again

4. Please do not hesitate to contact me
Please be in touch if you need
You are more than welcome to call me
Feel free to connect at any time

5. Thanks for your reply
I appreciate you getting back to me
Many thanks for your speedy response
I’m grateful for your response

6. I look forward to your reply
I’ll be eagerly awaiting your reply
I fondly anticipate your feedback
I hope to hear from you soon
7. Regards
Until next time
My best to you
Take care



Copy and paste from

후각이 주는 기억

나는 냄새에 꽤 민감하게 반응하는 것 같다..어떤때는 유별나다는 소리를 엄마한테 들을 정도로…좋은 향기나 불쾌한 냄새에 킁킁대며 반응할 때가 있다..

그래서인지…특정한 기억들이 떠오르게 하는 향기들이 있다.

Giorgio armani Gio 향수랑 Jean paul Gaultier le male 향수는 대학교 1학년때의 기억들이…Gio는 첫 향수였고 틈만 나면 슬쩍 슬쩍 뿌려대며 그 상콤한 풀 내음을 좋아했고…남자향수 중에 처음으로 그나마 내가 좋다고 느꼈던 향이었던  le male은 뭔지 모르게 듬직한 느낌이 드는 향이었고….남자친구가 생기면 이 향수를 선물해야겠다고 생각했던 그런 기억이 떠오른다.

Sarah Jessica parker의 Lovely는 대학원시절과 엄마와 함께 했던 2주간의 미국여행을 떠오르게 한다.. 엄마와 둘만이서 떠난 첫 여행, 미국이라는 곳에 처음 와봐서..둥그레 둥그레 여기저기 모든걸 다 재밌어하며 봤던 기억…여름여행이라서 슬쩍슬쩍 뿌리고 다니고…한국에 돌아와서 몇 주는 시차적응때문에 몇 일을 몽롱하게 보내면서도  여행때 사온 선물들을 들고 지인들을 만나러 갈때마다 이 향수를 꼭 뿌리고 나갔다…그래서인지…이 향수의 향만 맡아도..어쩔땐 병만 봐도 그 때 생각이 문득 난다.

오늘은 간만에 Bath and body works의 frosted Cranberry향을 맡다가…박사과정 1년차 때가 생각이 났다. 그런데 유쾌한 기억은  아니다.. 좋은 기억만을 주는 향이 아니고, 약간의 역함이 기억나는 향이었다… 1년차 1학기가 끝나갈 때 몸과 마음이 지치고 힘들었던 기억이 스물스물 올라온다…..미국에 처음 왔을 때 Bath and body works의 여러가지 향을 맡아보는걸 재밌어했다. 대부분 인공적인 향이었지만, 꽃, 허브, 과일향 등등이 조합된 향기들을 맡아보는게 꽤 즐거웠다. 그러다가 콘센트에 꼽아쓰는 wall flower라는걸 알게됐고, 집에서 음식냄새가 나는걸 싫어했던 나는 바로 득템..처음으로 고른 향이 frosted cranberry향이었다.미국에 처음왔을 땐 cranberry라는게 생경했고, 맛있는 향이라고 생각하면서 골랐던 것 같다. (이 크랜베리향이 가을-겨울 시즌 상품이라는 것도 그 때는 몰랐다.) 그런 가을-겨울쯤…날씨는 스산하고..나는 너무 지쳐있고, 그러다 어느날 집에 왔는데, 집에 그 크랜베리 향이 지나치게 났다..아침에 나갈때 꼽아놓고는 빼는걸 잊고 나가서 하루종일 켜져있었는지, 너무도 인공적인, 덜덜하고 시큼한 향이 문을 열자마자 가득했고…너무 오래꼽아서 그런지, 플라스틱이 타는 것 같은 냄새도 약간 섞여있는 듯한….그날은 유난히 체력도 완전 떨어져있어서 그 냄새가 역하게 느껴졌던 기억이 어렴풋이 난다….머리가 아프다고 느낄 정도랄까..창문을 열고 환기를 했지만, 그 향은 몇일간 우리집에 남아있는것 같았고, 그 이후로 한참을 쓰지 않다가 결국 반 이상 남은용액을 버렸던 기억..그래서인지 벌써 6년이 지났는데도, 오늘 오랜만에 맡게 된 이 향은 나에게 그 때의 지침과 역함을 떠오르게 했네… #크랜베리향이잘못했네


In academics, we are writers.

I have been re-reading  a book, Becoming an academic writer by Patricia Goodson (2013). I read this book, (strictly to say, I skimmed through this book), during my PHD program as an assignment from one of the qualitative research methodology courses. We only had about 5 minutes discussion about this book every class, so when I was swamped with catching up all the reading materials, I skimmed this book, even though I thought this book would be very beneficial to read as a graduate student who was on the beginning stage of academia.

As a postdoc, numbers of works to be accomplished per day has been increased: writing a new grant proposal, managing projects, producing instructional materials, co-instructing a graduate class, design next semester’s class, and writing and revising manuscripts, and more.  Sometimes I found myself behind in writing manuscripts and that felt me very annoyed and frustrated and even depressed my everyday life. So, I picked up this book as a refresher for my writing habits. And so far, the book has helped me to reflect my (turns out to be) bad writing habits and excuse and provide some solutions.


My common excuse 1. Sometimes, I have a day or days without having writing time.

According to the author, this may cause because I don’t see myself as a writer.

However, for people in academics, we write for a living, whether we like it or not, whether we want to or not. And like gardening tools, which need to be constantly used to prevent deterioration or rust. We need to see ourselves as writers having writer attitudes, managing the contingencies, and practice for it. Because I am a professional writer.

My common excuse 2. I don’t have time to write today.

Low productivity and struggles with writing have to do with how academics view themselves and their work. If they do not see themselves as writers, their writing becomes relegated to whenever they have enough time. Enough time never happens spontaneously, so they seldom write.

Research examining productive faculty’s habits consistently points to scheduled and protected writing time as a key element for success.

The author mentioned that writing time is not to be found but to be created. None of us can ever find time because we look for extra time. But those extra time rarely can be found. We need to purposefully CREATE and PROTECT time to write.

She quotes,

“Prolific academics create writing time where none exists and then carefully protect it from intrusion (Johnson & Mullen (2007).”


To be continued…




Goodson, P. (2016). Becoming an academic writer: 50 exercises for paced, productive, and powerful writing. Sage Publications.

Johnson, W. B., & Mullen, C. A. (2007). Write to the top! How to become a prolific academic. New York: Palgrave McMillan.

having dreams vs. shortsighted desires

Some people believe that they have a dream and they are doing their best to make it happen. However, having dreams and having greed or desires is different.

A person, who has a dream (or dreams), keeps doing something new to improve present with passion to achieve a long-term goal. A person with a dream do not hesitate to expand knowledge, skills, or strategies with a variety of experiences. Even though the usefulness or the benefits of having new experiences are uncertain, people with a dream, invests their time and efforts on the present for the future. Because of the uncertainty, people with dreams keep exploring new things to know more. The more you know, the more you see.

However, a person, who believes that they have a dream but tends to wish to achieve  without investing much on the present, is who has greed and shortsighted desire. They tend to hesitate to explore new fields, skills, or strategies when the immediate benefit is uncertain. Because of the uncertainty, people who confuse desire with dream, limit the investment on the future captured by myopic view.

So,  what’s yours? dreams or just desires?


Grant search engines

University of Virginia recently shared funding discovery tolos for UVA.

Grant forward:



You can search upcoming grant information with deadline by subject areas (science, social science, education, etc).

Also, the Pivot helps to connect with other researchers within the university by setting up a My profile with specialties and contact information. Neat!

The Four I’s of Networking: Building Strong Connections


This is retrieved article from Tomorrow’s Professor eNewsletter”


Tomorrow’s Graduate Students and Postdocs

———– 1,287 words ———-

The Four I’s of Networking: Building Strong Connections

Building your professional network requires active effort.

There are 4 steps as you move from meeting people to creating enduring connections. Remember them as the Four I‘s.


Initiate & Inquire



(I know that is really five.)

Step One: Identify

Identify who you might add to your network and identify where you can meet new people. Strangers can become great colleagues and friends.

People. Who do you want to add to your network? Consider people within your university and outside of it. Who are people who are “up” from you? (Check out Networking in Three Directions to think broadly about who could be added to your network.) Each person you touch is in the center of his own web.

Networks you are part of. What networks can you tap into? Think about your advisor’s network; your department & its alumni; friends & colleagues from other institutions.

On-campus opportunities. Meet people at seminars, talks, classes, workshops and social events. Push yourself to try something new, like a seminar in another department. It’s a chance to meet someone new.

Conferences and meetings. Conferences exist to build professional networks. Identify a mix of larger meetings (Modern Language Association, Society for Neurosciences) and small specialty conferences (Midwestern Medievalist Meeting) to attend. Have a plan to practice Step Two over and over. Some of the most productive conferences I have attended were when I spent nearly all of my time in the lobby and coffee shops rather than in sessions.

When you are with your intellectual “peeps” you have ample opportunities to find interesting people. Do not squander this opportunity.

• Identify presentation sessions where you have a particular interest. Meet the presenters. Those in attendance share your interests; establish at least one new contact at every session you attend.

• Poster sessions are designed to foster interactions. Talk at length with a few selected authors.

• Receptions and meals are other places to meet new people. Challenge yourself to start up a conversation with a stranger.

Step Two: Initiate and Inquire

Creating the connection is the second step.

Connecting Up

When you are initiating a contact with someone more experienced and knowledgeable than you are, be especially respectful and professional.

Meeting someone in person. Approaching someone directly (i.e., the speaker after a talk) or arranging an introduction from a mutual acquaintance are two ways to meet someone “up” from you. Prepare a question to start the conversation. Briefly introduce yourself and explain your reason to meet. (“I am Chris, I study ABC at XYZ University, and I have relied on the theory that you developed.”) Then ask your question.

If the conversation goes well, be prepared to trade business cards. If there are others who want to talk to the person, exit when you have used your fair share of time. Plan to follow up as described in Step 3.

Sometimes the conversation does not go well. This happens. It may not be about you at all. You don’t know what else is on this person’s mind (a sick child, a looming grant proposal, another appointment). Take a few minutes to debrief with a friend. Could you have said or done something differently? These are chances to learn. After briefly licking your wounds, take it in stride, and move on. No need for Step 3!

Approaching someone by email. Many connections are initiated by email. Above all, keep the initial email short and to the point. A few tips to improve the chances for a response:

▪ Clear subject line. Make sure it doesn’t look like spam. The subject line “A question for you” may never get opened. Be specific: “UMichigan grad student seeking advice about dissertation.”

▪ Introduce yourself. One short paragraph is sufficient.

▪ Specific, answerable question or request. If the email can’t be quickly and easily answered, it is likely to sink forever. Every year I get an email that asks, “What do you think are good dissertation topics in the area of graduate education?” Really?!? This is not answerable.

▪ Use a professional tone. “Hey, Dr. Golde.” Nope.

Wait 10 days before repeating the request. We are all overwhelmed with email. Stop after two inquiries.

Connecting Across or Down

Networking is about building rapport. Initiating with a peer (connecting “across”) or with someone who is more junior or novice (connecting “down”) requires you to make the first move. Even if you are an introvert, you can do this. This is a skill that requires practice.

▪ Introduce yourself.

▪ Ask questions. The first question is the hardest. Pick something open-ended that requires a longer answer. “What surprised you most today at the conference?” “What do you hope to get out of this talk?” “Do you do research in this area? What is it about?”

▪ Find commonality. “I also study parasites.” “I am also from Utah.”

▪ Show interest. Nod and respond.

▪ Listen and smile. You don’t have to do all of the talking. People love a good listener.

▪ Four I’s to avoid: Interruption (listen with full attention), interrogation (hold up your part of the conversation), insult (never speak badly about others), I-I-I (focus on the other person, not on yourself).

Initiating a conversation with a stranger is hard. Set reasonable goals. Examples of small goals that can help you practice Step 2:

▪ Sit down with people I don’t know and talk to one person before this presentation starts.

▪ Talk to three new people at this reception, before finding my friends.

▪ Go to a seminar outside of my department this week and ask one question.

Step Three: Invest

Following up—investing in the relationship—is step 3. If you want to maintain this connection (and you won’t want to keep up with every person you meet), then invest in it.

Say “thank you” right away. Send a follow up email within 48 hours. Everyone loves to hear this. Thank the person for her time. For the idea that she gave you. For making the time in the lunch line pass so quickly.

Over time, figure out ways to keep the connection going. You can ask more questions. You can send resources. “I thought you might find this article interesting.”

The first few times you reconnect—in person or on email—remind the person who you are and where you met.

Step Four: Intensify

Strengthening existing ties requires cultivating and tending relationships over time. Be purposeful. Propose a time and place to reconnect. “We met last year at the Annual Conference. This year, can we set a time to meet for coffee? I would like to bring you up to date on what I have been doing and ask for some advice.”

“Same time, next year” connections can grow over the years. You will change a lot from year to year, and many senior scholars enjoy seeing new researchers develop. We appreciate playing a small role in their growth by providing advice from a different angle.

Tell people how their help paid off. It is satisfying (and surprising) to hear how advice takes root and makes a difference. It encourages us to keep giving advice, and to respond positively to requests for time.

With peers, take it upon yourself to initiate activities. One member of my grad school cohort hosted a potluck every fall for all of the current and new members of our specialty area. A grad school colleague from another school organizes a dinner every year at the annual meeting. Every year a few new people are included. These are chances to intensify relationships with peers and build new ones with those coming behind us.* * *

Take Step One today. Make two lists: people you want to add to your network and opportunities where you can meet new people in the next few months.

In the next two months, where are three times you can practice Step Two?

Learn more about networking: Read Networking in Three Directions and Why You Should Network|Seven Myths Dispelled.

What makes each Step easier for you? Leave a comment.

Thank you to Brian McDonald of MOR Associates who introduced me to “Four I’s of Relationship Building” during a leadership training program. I adapted his list for graduate students.

Posted in Skills and tagged Academic LifeAcademic StuffGraduate SchoolNetworkingPhDPhD Life on February 6, 2016 by Chris Golde



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Tapestry Workshop 2016 for diversity in high school computing

Attending and assisting Tapestry workshop 2016.

The purpose of Tapestry workshop is a professional development workshop to increase numbers of diverse students in high school computing classes. Lighthouse team has offered this workshop annually since 2008 funded by National Science Foundation (NSF). Invited high school computing teachers, among applicant teachers, attend 3-day workshop. For more information about the Tapestry workshop visit, here.

How is this workshop relevant to my work?

I am a postdoctoral research associate for Lighthouse CC project. Lighthouse CC one of the project that Lighthouse team is working on. This also funded by NSF since 2015 and targeting professional development of community college computing instructors. Unlike face-to-face based Tapestry workshop, Lighthouse CC provides online courses in the format of MOOC.

Tapestry workshop and Lighthouse CC is targeting different audiences, tapestry is for high school teachers while Lighthouse CC is for community college instructors. However, the goal is same: to increase diversity in computing courses including females and under-represented minorities. Considering (1) both projects are for professional development,  (2) for adult learners, and (3) Lighthouse CC is focusing on creating an online learning environment in which can provide face-to-face workshop like learning environment, my goal is to get some ideas to improve our online learning environment design by observing Tapestry workshop.


I will share some of my notes here at the end of the workshop, Day 3.



마음이 몸을 지배하고 몸이 마음을 다스려주나

벌써 5월7일이다. 마지막으로 블로그에 daily life를 기록한게 1월 말이었던 것 같다. 눈 펑펑 온날.

2월에는 버지니아텍으로 컨퍼런스 다녀왔고, 조앤이 세상을 떠났고..(그것도 내 생일날..) 그 충격을 인지하고 토닥여주기 보다는 사실 어떻게 해야할지 모르겠고, 그냥 그렇게 멍하게 있으면 안 될것 같아서 더 일에 매진하고 (별로 가고 싶지 않았던) 멤피스로 SIGCSE 학회도 다녀왔던 3월.. 4월에는 쥉이가 와서 함께 지내고, DC에 AERA 학회를 다녀오고, 목감기랑 기침감기로 골골 대고…그 와중에 Internal grant도 하나 어플라이 해보고..그랬더니 5월이 되었다.

5월이 되고 보니..나는 작년 이맘때 박사를 받았다. C’ville에 온지도, 포닥으로 일한지도 1년… 이제 2년차로 들어서려고 보니 요즘은 조바심이 참 많이 나는 것 같다. 나는 잘 하고 있는 것인지,  무언가를 놓치고 있는건 아닌지, 한다고 하고 있는데 생각보다 해야할만큼 못 하고 있는건 아닌지..

요즘은 명상도 부담스러운 ‘해야할 일’이 되었다는걸 알게됐다.  박사 마지막해부터 시작해서 올해는 특히 주중아침에는 늘 명상을 했는데….아침에 명상을 하고 나면 마음이 편해지기는 한다는 걸 알기때문에 어떤날은 하기 귀찮다가도 하기도 하지만…요즘은 그게 그렇게까지 도움을 주지 않는다고 느끼나보다….글로 배운 명상이라…내가 제대로 안 하고 있는건지… 어쩌면 지금 내가 요즘 지쳐있고 힘든건…명상으로 해결될 것들이 아니라 그런 걸지도 모르고..아침에 달리기를 하고 싶은 날에는 명상까지 하고 나갈 시간이 없어서 달리기하는 시간을 명상의 목적을 달성하는 시간으로 활용했다. 명상의 목적은 그 날 하루를 시작하는 나를 다잡기위한 것이므로…달리기를 하면 자동으로 다잡아지는 마음가짐이랄까.  ..그런데 최근 1-2주 동안은 명상이 하기 싫어서 달리기를 해야겠다고 생각하는 나를 발견했다. 뭐하는건지..그래서 이번주에는 명상을 전혀 안 했다. 그리고 샬럿츠빌에는 4일 연속 비가 내렸다. 필라테스는 꼭 주 1회 하기는 했지만, 내가 혼자 하는 근력운동을 한지는 두달이 되어가는것 같고, 한달 전부터는 cardio도 주 1-2회 겨우 하고 있다. 내 마음이 몸을 지배한 느낌…

어제는 필라테스 대신 오전시간을 내 운동시간으로 할애했다. cardio를 50분가량 하고, 어깨가슴 덤벨 운동을 하고, 등운동을 하고, 집에와서 스트레칭을 하고…오후에 출근해서도 이래저래 걸어다닐 일이있어서 걷다보니 어제는 15,000보 넘게 걷고, active minutes이 100분을 넘겼다. 아무리 폼롤러로 풀어줘도 오늘까지도 다리가 좀 땡긴다. 오후가 되면 근육피로도는 분명 더 올라갈거 같고…그런데 슬슬 기분이 좋아지는것 같다….몸이 마음을 다스려주는 시간을 준걸까. 비때문인지, 내 조바심으로 가득찬 마음때문이었는지, 몇 일 너무 가라앉았던 내 마음이 다시 조금씩 빛을 받고 있는 기분이다.

어렴풋이 생각했던 운동의 효과가 오늘은 쓰다보니 이렇게 정리가 된다. 마음이 힘들땐 몸이 도와주면 되고, 몸이 힘들땐 마음이 도와주면 되는거라고.


CIDER 2016

Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy 2016

Eliciting peer feedback (concurrent session)

Components of a good peer review? always need to consider the goal of the review; if it is not focused on the learning goals/goals of peer review, it cannot be called “peer feedback” since it just could be a proof reader.

Criteria of good feedback; specific, constructive, balanced (negative vs. positive), and clear.


  • proceed from general to specific
  • suggestions should be realistic in scope
  • review the content not the author
  • avoid, always, never, etc.

Ideas for Lighthouse CC MOOC peer review

  • give them clear guidance to review. help them to find ways to give specific feedback other than general comments; for example for the flyer, how they can indicate which part should be revised, and how? I will need to give samples peer feedback and format to show good and bad peer feedback. Show them specific examples. what makes better/worse peer review?