help writing papers.
So here's a question for everyone out there:
In my field, papers are supposed to Be the Best They Can Be. Which is to say, if you haven't done all the experiments anyone could conceivably think of, no matter how technically difficult, it is extremely difficult to publish.
The reviewers always ask the question we all groan over: "Why didn't you do THIS (obvious but technically impossible experiment)?"
So I am trying to write a paper now, and because of personal problems, I switched labs in the middle of doing some of these experiments, and did some experiments in other people's labs, and so on. So the continuity is not ideal, and there are some experiments that, in the perfect world, I would go back and redo a little differently if I could, but it would be a huge time suck to do it now, and I don't think it would change the final result, it would just make the story a tiny bit tighter, and only for the more discerning readers.
I may still have to go back and redo stuff anyway, but I'd rather wait and see what the reviewers demand, since they always ask for both experiments I would expect, as well as some more than I'd expect.
I'd rather do the ones they want if it will get it published, than do the ones that might help slightly but I'm not sure if anyone will notice that I went the distance.
Nobody ever seems to have any idea how much work went into the papers I've published, anyway.
So I'm trying to figure out how to write this paper. One way is to try to discreetly say, "uh, we know this isn't perfect, but it is what it is." This approach will most likely severely limit the options for journals to publish it in, but I prefer it because it's more honest... and also a lot easier to write.
The other way is to try to hide the flaws by the order in which I present the data, so it's not necessarily obvious that I could (probably should) go back and redo the experiments at the beginning because the paper appears to build... you know, that thing everyone does where we act like we KNEW ALL ALONG that this is how it would turn out.
Instead of just telling a narrative, chronological story of how it actually happened. Like all the 'classic' papers are written.
I'm curious to hear what people think. Which is better? Got any great advice? Is it absolutely always better and worth it to go back and redo the experiments first? Am I wasting my time even trying to write it up now?