In Swedish we can talk about things being a sourdough. Being a sourdough means that it is something negative from the past that is still around. However, I think that the word is quite good to use about research papers that you need to rewrite, and rewrite before they are published. We often use this word in my team such as in this sentence: I’m working on one of my sourdough papers.
First, I think this is a good word since sour dough bread is a kind of bread that takes a very long time to prepare but it is a good bread in the end. It includes many different steps, and you need to leave it for some time before you bake it. A sourdough paper is a paper that takes some time to prepare, and it will be rejected several times before being accepted but in the end the paper is quite good. I have indeed many such papers!
Moreover, a sourdough bread It is however an especially delicious bread, and some of the papers that were sourdough papers are now among my very best cited papers. Doing them over and over again inproved the quality!
Also, when writing on your sourdough paper you need to practice grit – and this is a good thing to practice since we know that this kind of grit is what is required in academia! Don’t give up and keep struggeling