Once upon a time, over a year ago, a little paper was born. It was lovingly constructed out of the hard work of several collaborators, including a couple of undergrads. The little paper was sent off with high hopes and fanfare to a conference.
The poor little paper was rejected.
Sadness and despair ensued among the collaborators, but the PI saw that there was a lot of good in the little paper. So the PI went back to the drawing board, revisited and revised some of the experiments that the undergrads did, and carefully addressed the reviewers' comments and concerns. Once again, the little paper was sent off, with high hopes and fanfare, to a conference.
The poor little paper was rejected again.
There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth. The collaborators wondered if the little paper should just be left to die in dignity. But the PI saw the promise of the little paper. She knew that there were some new results that would make the little paper a stronger little paper. She saw that the reviewers had very positive things to say about the potential impact of the little paper on the larger field. She saw that even the worst reviews acknowledged that the little paper had a lot of strengths.
So the PI went back and tried again, and was rejected a couple more times. But each time it was rejected, she found a new venue, addressed the latest round of reviewer comments, and promptly sent the little paper out. And each time, the reviews came back a little more positive.
One day, the PI went to send the paper to the next appropriate conference. She gasped when she saw that it was one of the bigger, tougher conferences in her field. The little paper would be going up against the Big Bad Strong Papers! She was a bit apprehensive, but shrugged and sent it off anyway.
This time, the little paper was accepted. And there was much rejoicing in Little Paper Land.
Sometimes, perserverence and a strong belief in the value of your work really do pay off.