Saturday, November 21, 2009

The epic battle of Pitar and Belle

As you may have gathered from my midweek post, the past few weeks in science have been pretty crappy for me. The first half of this week was particularly rough and was not helped by the fact that I started the week sleep-deprived from working furiously to finish revisions on a manuscript from Bear's lab, required by PITA reviewer (who we shall refer to as Pitar, henceforth). Moreover, this wasn't just any manuscript, but one of the major projects I worked on in Bear's lab, the one for which I was awarded an NRSA in grad school, the one that I carried out almost singlehandedly and thus carried the name of only one other author aside from myself and Bear.

Pitar basically wanted to see every piece of data we mentioned in the manuscript. This included controls, negative data, and data that looked almost exactly like other data that was already in the manuscript. Yes, I understand, there's a whole heap of lying, data-manipulating bastards in science these days, so Pitar cannot be expected to take my word that when I say data for thing 2 looks like data for thing 1. Still this made my life miserable. Pitar has no concept of what went into making the figures in the paper presentable, clear, and quite frankly beautiful. Nor does Pitar care.

Bear and I decided that most data requested would appear as supplementary figures, which meant they didn't have to be as beautiful as figures in the main paper. But me being me, and my name being associated with this work, I could not bring myself to just put the standard analysis program output into the supplemental. The 1/2-pt lines and 6 pt font just looks amateurish. So I spent hours resizing, ungrouping, deleting, adding, copying, pasting, regrouping to make the figures at least look decent. After working into the wee hours of the morning Monday, my shoulder, elbow, wrist, and thumb hurt from all the clicking and typing, and my ass and back ached from hours of sitting in a hard chair. I was so exhausted that I couldn't think straight enough to write comprehensible figure legends, so that had to wait until after I had gotten a few hours sleep--and when I should have been doing ELISAs or Westerns or something in Guru's lab. I will admit that insanity of trying to get so much done in such a short period was really my own damn fault--due to procrastination.

Either way, I got it done and addressed all but one main bullet and one sub-bullet Pitar fired through modification of a main figure or addition of supplemental data. I truly hated the fact that Pitar made it one of 'those' papers, where there were supplemental figures than figures in the main text. Bear sent in the revisions early in the week.

The long wait began.

And ended. I received word from Bear yesterday that the manuscript had been...


It was so nice to end the week on a high note, even if it was a note from my past.

Hopefully it is an omen for the week(s) to come.

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Prof-like Substance said...

congrats! It's always nice when a paper gets accepted.

PhDamned said...


Comrade PhysioProf said...


biochem belle said...

Thanks, y'all!