Publication Details

Martin, B. (2013). Learning to love rejection. Insider Higher Ed, 8 July 1-4.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Inside Higher Ed


In my career, I've published a great many articles and books. What most of my colleagues don't know is that I've had lots of rejections too - hundreds of them.

Rejections are a dirty secret among academics. Publication successes are cause for celebration, or at least a proud listing on CVs and departmental lists. Failures - rejected papers and unsuccessful grant and promotion applications - are usually hidden and sometimes a source of shame. The result is that many scholars, especially junior ones, have unrealistic expectations. For this reason Donald Hall, in his book The Academic Self, recommends that experienced academics tell more about their failures, as encouragement to others not to give up.