A while ago I “wrote” to a journal editor who had spurned a paper that I wrote and, despite the fact that the paper was later published and received some media attention, the publication process was painful. Even before first R&R, the paper was rejected at multiple venues. While the final product was arguably a better paper, I wouldn’t have minded an acceptance at a much earlier stage.
Publication, it turns out, is not always so painful. Over the summer I submitted a paper for review and there were several notable differences from my earlier experience. First, I received the editor’s decision within a month. The dear journal editor in my previously mentioned situation, by comparison, took three months to inform me that he was rejecting my revised and resubmitted paper without review. The largest difference, however, was in the outcome. Based on the quick turnaround, I was apprehensive about opening the e-mail and pleasantly surprised to see that the paper had received a conditional acceptance, the holy grail of review outcomes.
If publication was always this painless I may have been content at an R1 institution. They have small class sizes and value teaching, right?