There are celebrations for milestones of various kinds. In Japan I hear turning 60 is a big deal. Birthdays, graduations, even publishing can be celebrated. But why not celebrate something that is under your control? How about cheering when you submit a paper?
A paper submission is a lot earlier than a paper acceptance and publication in most cases. So why not celebrate the first birth of a new study, when it leaves your hands? I know it could be back within days as the editor chooses not even to review it, but let’s do everything we can to celebrate a new paper out the door.
At Cornell University in Neurobiology and Behavior, they do it with cognac. There is something neat about that pure hard liquor statement (who really likes cognac?). But here it was a little soft, with other drinks, some seasonal apples, Michael’s flan, and brownies. The grad students crowded into an office and the celebrations began. I think there was more than one paper being celebrated. It was a Friday afternoon, right before another gathering. It was fun.
I don’t know if they also celebrate when the paper goes out to a new journal when the first turns them down, or maybe these rarefied Cornellians (is that even a word?) don’t have that experience the way we do.
Maybe we’ll lay in some cognac and start celebrating and get our team to therefore rush those papers out the door! Well, given our roots, I think it should really be tequila.