One you’ve submitted your article it is a waiting game. I totally appreciate it takes time to send the article out to reviewers, for them to read and consider the article, to write comments, to send those comments back, for comments from multiple reviewers to be compiled and then sent back to me as the author. But, if the article is ultimately rejected (and in our case this happened several times) then it means from the time of preparing your first manuscript to it being published can take a very long time (we finished the real work for the EMULSION guideline analysis in July 2016 and haven’t had the article published until January 2018!). And in the meantime the world may be moving on, you just have to hope that what you have done is good enough to still be important by the time you can get it shared.
To give you a flavour of the waiting times, here are ours (though I’ll not name and shame).
Journal A Submitted: 23rd May 2016 Feedback: 4th July 2016 (two reviewers)
Journal B Submitted: 21st November 2016 Feedback: 28th November (one reviewer)
Journal C Submitted 8th February 2017 Feedback 17th February 2017 (not forwarded for review)
Journal D Submitted: 7th March 2017 Feedback: 28th March 2017 (not forwarded for review)
Of course, between each of these submissions you have to ask yourself some hard questions about where to go next, whether there is feedback from reviewers (where you get it) that is worth incorporating. And of course, changing formatting, referencing style etc to get it ready for the next target journal. Of course, if like us you’ve also got a day job being a pharmacist, doing teaching, then this needs to be fitted in amongst everything else. You’ll also notice quite a big gap between submissions between Journal A and Journal B. As there were two reviewer’s worth of feedback, there was a lot for me to digest after that first submission and a bit of soul searching. Don’t be afraid to give yourself time to take a step back, digest and come back to it.