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NullVoid » Best Birthday Gift NullVoid » Blog Archive » Best Birthday Gift

Best Birthday Gift


It was my birthday on June 1 (yes, the children’s day, that’s why I don’t get old).

My friend John was visiting, he was bored so dragged me to watch the Horse Race in Happy Valley.

The point is really not watching horse. We were busy checking the statistics of the horses and played a few hands. I typically don’t do gambling because I always believe it is a form of “stupidity tax”. This time, however, I played. Of course, we lost.

Just before we were ready to leave, I got the email (can’t imagine the days without iphone). It was the acceptance letter of my paper by Management Science.

So I guess this is the best birthday gift ever. I started working on that paper in 2003, then presented it in 2005. Presented it as my job market paper around the world (literally), and it won me quite a number of great job offers. However, it was such a long journey to publish it. It stayed at one particular journal for 18 months before I got two very irresponsible reviews.

Probably we were one of the first to write on the topic, when we first submitted it in 2006/2007 the reviewers could hardly understand what we were talking about. After several years of extensive study by many other colleagues, finally the value of the paper gets recognized. When we submitted it to MS in 2010, one of the reviewers said:”This is a very timely study to look at dynamic features of keyword auctions, while the majority of the literature still relies on static models.”

Some friends asked me if the reviewers knew the “inside information” of my birthday. I guess not, even if they do, it would be hard to coordinate so that the editors can send out the notification exactly on that day.

For the record, my dear reviewers, please do not wait to surprise me only on my birthdays. Surprise me now! Surprise me any time!

5 Responses to “Best Birthday Gift”

  1. Liyun Says:

    Congratulations! “A very timely study”, haha…

    I think there is also a phd from MIT who just got her undergraduate paper published in econometrica…she has waited for, eh, around 5 years?

  2. chengjun Says:

    That’s the reason we should not be too innovative. One important principle of social science study is accumulation. If the study is evaluated as “timely”, it’s still possible to be published after being toughly criticized, however, if nobody in your filed can understand your study (If two of the three reviewers can’t understand it, it will be easily rejected.), it will take much longer time than we can imagine to get the paper published.

  3. im so bored Says:

    trying to find you, you got facebook or twitter?

  4. Fili Says:

    Though it’s been a while since you wrote this post, just wanted to say that it was very interesting stumbling across a HKUST professor blog and read posts like this one about the academic publishing process.

    Hope you keep documenting and writing about life.


  5. autocom cdp Says:

    What’s up everyone, it鎶?my first go to see at this site, and article is really fruitful in support of me, keep up posting such articles.

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