The publication history of my papers

Here is an overview of where my published papers did (not) end up getting published. There is very little transparency in the academic publication process, and I believe it is great when people talk openly about the work they put into getting their work published. Below, I provide details on where each of my papers were submitted (before ending up getting published). I have also added a brief comment or two to each publication.

Mediernes formidling af meningsmålinger: Indholdsanalyse af folketingsvalg, 2005-2011
Published in: Tidsskriftet Politik
Also submitted to:
Comment: My first peer-reviewed publication. Not sure whether it is a good sign that I have been studying opinion polls for more than a decade now. The Danish journal was discontinued in 2021. My interest in opinion polls is as strong as ever.

Commentary on: People search for meaning when they approach a new decade in chronological age
Published in: Frontiers in Psychology
Also submitted to: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Comment: This was the first time (but, alas, not the last time) experiencing how little PNAS cares about science. I initially wrote up my criticism and put it on GitHub. Andrew Gelman wrote a great blog post about my criticism. Most importantly, I am to this day grateful that Daniël Lakens reached out to me and encouraged me to submit it as a comment to Frontiers in Psychology.

Media content and political behavior in observational research: A critical assessment
Published in: British Journal of Political Science
Also submitted to:
Comment: This is an interesting publication that taught me a lot about how to do science. There was a follow-up piece in the journal replying to our piece, but we politely declined to respond to the reply. It is never easy as a PhD student to turn down an additional publication in a good journal, but I believe it was the right call. When you have said what there is to say, and nothing changes the conclusions you have reached, there is no need to take up valuable space in a journal.

Democracy for the youth? The impact of mock elections on voting age attitudes
Published in: Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties
Also submitted to: Electoral Studies
Comment: This was a great experience working with Ulrik Kjær and Klaus Levinsen on this project. In addition to the article, we also wrote a few book chapters together (in Danish).

Direct and Indirect Welfare Chauvinism as Party Strategies: An Analysis of the Danish People’s Party
Published in: Scandinavian Political Studies
Also submitted to: Journal of European Social Policy
Comment: This was a lot of work but I really liked the published version of the paper. I am also happy to see that a lot of other scholars are picking it up and engaging with the arguments we made in the paper.

Hvilken periode skal analyseres? Uge 46 som dataindsamlingsstrategi i journalistikforskningen
Published in: Journalistica
Also submitted to:
Comment: My most recent Danish peer-reviewed article (more than six years ago now!). I wrote a blog post with one of the main points back in 2015, but it was only when working together with Kim Andersen that we managed to turn it into a coherent argument with a constructive proposal for what other researchers should do.

Problems with the Big Five assessment in the World Values Survey
Published in: Personality and Individual Differences
Also submitted to: Journal of Research in Personality
Comment: As a friend told me when he read the paper, the paper is like a vodka shot. Short but strong. Compared to my other papers, this was by far the easiest to write up.

Welfare Retrenchments and Government Support: Evidence from a Natural Experiment
Published in: European Sociological Review
Also submitted to:
Comment: The first paper from my PhD getting published. I like the simplicity of the paper and I believe that is also a key reason why a lot of students are asked to reproduce the findings. I updated the replication material last year to make sure people could reproduce the findings without any problems (see this post for more information).

Justify your alpha
Published in: Nature Human Behavior
Also submitted to:
Comment: This paper was the first and only time I have signed up to a mega-project where a lot of authors put their name on a paper to make a contribution to science. I have no plans of doing something similar in the future. Not because I didn’t contribute (I did). Not because it is not cited (it is). Not because I don’t agree with the main argument (I did and I do). Not because I found the process problematic (I did not). In brief, it was a low-cost, easy and good paper to write, but I don’t think the paper, by the end of the day, was better because of the number of co-authors. At some point, it feels more like a petition than a paper where people contribute, and whenever I see more than 10 people on a paper (especially within the social sciences), I now wonder how many actually contributed (and how).

Policy Feedback Effects on Mass Publics: A Quantitative Review
Published in: Policy Studies Journal
Also submitted to: Social Policy & Administration
Comment: Yet another paper from my PhD thesis. I like this one but as for many papers, you always have a better sense of what you would like to do once the project is completed. In this paper, I collected a lot of information from studies on policy feedback effects on the public, but if I had to do the project today, I would have collected a lot of additional information.

Bailout or bust? Government evaluations in the wake of a bailout
Published in: European Political Science Review
Also submitted to: Journal of Politics, Electoral Studies, Political Research Quarterly, British Journal of Political Science, European Journal of Political Research, West European Politics
Comment: This paper is a good example of how long it can take to get a paper published. In my archive, I can see a first draft of the paper dated April 25, 2013. Six years later, it was published online. It took a lot of time to revise the paper after each rejection to address the reviewer feedback, but at a certain point the reviewers started asking for things that previous reviewers have said should be downplayed (to put emphasis on something else). One conclusion could be ‘never give up and you paper will eventually get published’. Another conclusion could be to think carefully about opportunity costs when you are an early career researcher. In the grand scheme of things, I am happy the paper ended up getting published in a good journal.

The Generalizability of Personality Effects in Politics
Published in: European Journal of Personality
Also submitted to: Journal of Personality
Comment: This was a fun paper to write and despite all the work (or because of all the work), it was worth it. I like to work on papers where independent of what the coefficients show, there will be an interesting paper.

Transforming Stability into Change: How the Media Select and Report Opinion Polls
Published in: The International Journal of Press/Politics
Also submitted to: Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Communication, Political Science Research and Methods, Public Opinion Quarterly
Comment: If I had to choose, I think this is my favourite paper. Not only because I care a lot about opinion polls, but because it was a fun project to develop and execute (so much that we also wrote a book with some of the results and did additional work). It did take some time to get published but I am very happy to see that it ended up in a journal I believe is a good home for the paper.

Do Terrorist Attacks Feed Populist Eurosceptics? Evidence from Two Comparative Quasi-Experiments
Published in: European Journal of Political Research
Also submitted to:
Comment: This paper started with me working on a project for Chatham House and noticing that some survey data in Germany and collected just before and after a terrorist attack in 2016. Combined with data from the European Social Survey and the consistent results across both datasets, we wrote up a paper and submitted it to the journal. The reviewer and editor feedback was constructive and I was overall very pleased with the paper.

Just as WEIRD? Personality Traits and Political Attitudes Among Immigrant Minorities
Published in: Journal of Research in Personality
Also submitted to: Social Psychological and Personality Science (special issue on underrepresented populations)
Comment: We initially wrote and submitted this paper for a special issue, but I think the editors already had other publications in mind for the special issue, and for that reason, we ended up submitting it to another journal.

Personal politics? Health care policies, personal experiences and government attitudes
Published in: Journal of European Social Policy
Also submitted to:
Comment: The final paper I got published from my PhD. Once this paper was accepted, I was happy to conclude the project.

Populist parties in European Parliament elections: A new dataset on left, right and valence populism from 1979 to 2019
Published in: Electoral Studies
Also submitted to: European Union Politics
Comment: We did a lot of work on this project assembling a new dataset. I was very happy that the journal could see the value in publishing the dataset, and if you have collected a dataset related to elections, I can highly recommend submitting it as a paper to Electoral Studies.

Personality in a Pandemic: Social Norms Moderate Associations Between Personality and Social Distancing Behaviors
Published in: Personality and Individual Differences
Also submitted to: Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, Nature Human Behavior, Science Advances, Psychological Science, Social Psychological and Personality Science
Comment: We had a great idea for a paper but we might have been too ambitious in terms of where the paper could get published. I am not sure. In any case, I was happy to see it finally getitng published.

Party activism in the populist radical right: The case of the UK Independence Party
Published in: Party Politics
Also submitted to:
Comment: This was of a special issue and, for that reason, we never considered other outlets for this paper.

Longevity Returns to Political Office
Published in: Political Science Research and Methods
Also submitted to: American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics
Comment: I have already talked a lot about this paper in the past. Since the publication of the paper, I have become more skeptical of regression discontinuity designs, and I am not the only one (see, for example, this great Twitter thread). That being said, I still believe it is a great paper.

Nudging hand hygiene compliance: a large-scale field experiment on hospital visitors
Published in: Journal of Hospital Infection
Also submitted to:
Comment: This was a simple and straightforward paper to write based on the results. Not much too add.

Beyond the Numbers: The Impact of Quantitative Teaching on Overall Student Performance
Published in: Journal of Political Science Education
Also submitted to: Sociology
Comment: This paper came out of the Self-Study programme related to Q-Step at the University of Kent.

Reporting on One’s Behaviour: a survey experiment on the non-validity of self-reported COVID-19 hygiene relevant routine behaviours
Published in: Behavioural Public Policy
Also submitted to:
Comment: This was an interesting project exploring the idea that we could rely on anchoring effects to measure the validity of self-reported data. For example, when asked about the number of times you have gone to the office today, it should be relatively unaffected by any anchors provided. However, for other types of self-reported data on behaviour, such answers might not be as reliable but shaped by other factors. I still believe self-reported behaviours are reliable (especially if researchers want to model changes over time), but I also believe our paper is a relevant caveat to the (heavy) use of self-reported data on routine behaviours. Luckily, the reviewers at the journal found the paper important as well.

Dynamic political interest: How personality differences and the political environment shape political interest
Published in: British Journal of Political Science
Also submitted to: American Journal of Political Science
Comment: I worked on this paper for a long time during my PhD and I used the basic idea to work up a larger package (for a postdoc application that got rejected).

Asymmetric realignment: Immigration and right party voting
Published in: Electoral Studies
Also submitted to: Political Studies, Social Science Research
Comment: This is my most recent publication that was in the making for a long time. My experience is that the paper, as many other papers, improved significantly throughout the review process, also at the few journals where it got rejected.

When I left my permanent position, I also dropped a lot of my projects and, when possible, let the co-authors move ahead with the paper without me. I am still reviewing a few papers now and then for journals, but I do not miss engaging with the whole peer-review system (peer-review is, to a large extent, broken).

In addition, I have had a few R&Rs at journals with papers that never ended up getting published. The first was an R&R at International Journal of Public Opinion Research back in 2014. It was my first R&R and, in retrospect, I did not know how to sufficiently address the comments made by the reviewers to make the paper strong enough for the journal. The second was an R&R at European Union Politics back in 2014 as well. This is more spicy as it turned out that a “colleague” got a similar idea (after having read and provided feedback on my paper), and submitted it to European Union Politics as well (knowing that my paper was under review there as well, but not telling me about his submission – or even the existence of his paper). I got a weird rejection on my R&R but his paper ended up getting published (together with a professor who was on the editorial board of the journal – I kid you not). It was by far the worst experience I have ever had in academia, bar none. However, it did teach me a valuable lesson about trust (a lesson I wouldn’t mind being without though). In any case, this is a longer story for another day.