It's a Love/Hate Kind of Thing
I got the feedback on my paper from the reviewers. One reviewer liked my paper, and the other reviewer hated it. Well, maybe hate is a strong word. Their comments sure seemed to be overly...uh...critical. Those would be the proper terms to use, I guess.
The good news is that they have given me the option to resubmit the paper if I address the reviewers' concerns. The journal has a high impact factor and gets lots of manuscripts so they don't give you this option unless they think that you might be able to get the paper up to par. They also complimented the clarity of my writing (you would never have thought I could write clearly by this blog) and the interesting nature of the work--go me.
The bad news is that the negative reviewer had some issues reflecting his or her lack of knowledge in the field. Given that few people in neuroscience are looking at the proteins/cellular markers that I investigated in my studies, this is understandable. Unfortunately, most people familiar with the type of work I'm doing are cancer researchers. I can't really ask for a oncologist to review a neuroscience paper--that type of thing would be a little out-of-bounds. I just have to make this reviewer think outside of their comfort zone. That could go really well or it could turn in to a train wreck. Regardless, you can't say "bite me" in response to a ridiculous comment/suggestion and rewording "bite me" is quite difficult so I will have to be a bit more of a sycophant than I normally would choose to be.
We'll see what happens. At least they didn't reject it--that was all I was striving for the first time around. Wish me luck in kissing some major ass.