My First Rejection Letter!

I finished undergrad six months ago and have been working on getting my thesis published. For me, it’s been a good excuse to take some time off from school just to work and hang out (“I’ll be a better applicant when I have some publication credentials”). The first journal I submitted the thesis to was The Journal of Politics and Society. It’s a great journal and, most importantly to me, they let me submit the thing in raw .doc form, rather than in raw (.rtf + every single table and image in separate bizarre-naming-convention-riddled .jpeg disaster) form. Fortunately my thesis is now successfully onto round two in another journal, but in the meantime, JPS had to pass. Here is the letter.

Thank you again for submitting your paper (The Nature and Logic of Lobbying: Attention-Buying and the Deardorff-Hall Model) to Politics & Society for publication consideration.

The editors felt that your piece, while interesting, does not sufficiently go beyond the existing literature to warrant publication. The large number of submissions we now receive often forces us to turn down serious work like yours.

I am sorry I cannot offer more extensive comments, but the board believes it is better to respond relatively quickly rather than hold a paper for many months (so that you may submit it elsewhere).

Fortunately I’m in a position where this rejection is somewhat unsurprising. I’m not actually a grad student or a full-blown Masters’ or PhD. The first 75% of the paper exists entirely to empirically confirm a theory that makes sense to me (the one advanced here, in case you’re curious), and the last 25% or so is where I try to make some novel claims about the psychology of why people invest in interest groups. But that’s neither here nor there.

This is my first and certainly not last rejection letter. It just felt like something worth documenting.

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