I’m currently reworking the second paper of my thesis (or at least the paper that was planned as the second paper) to address the reviewers’ comments. Probably the biggest problem with the split panel design we’ve ended up with is that there are no measurements from the long term monitoring stations at the same time as the first ten schools’ measurements are being taken. So, what’s due to annual variation  and what’s due to spatial variation, e.g. ? This has meant going back to our models and looking at more appropriate ways to model the spatial and temporal trends to allow us to decouple the spatial and temporal variation.
I’ve still got to finalise things with my supervisors, but I think if we focus less on model comparison and talk more about the computational issues and put forward a single model (which will be used as the basis for the third paper of my PhD) then we’ll have a good paper for a journal which focuses more on the scientific application than the statistical theory. After all, the paper is not a novel contribution to the field of semi-parametric regression but it’s a very novel application of semi-parametric regression to multi-site observational data recorded from a split panel design.
All in all I think the paper is much more at home in the aerosol science literature than the applied statistics literature and the comments we got upon the previous rejection will make it a better paper. I’m certainly much more optimistic about this paper than I was immediately after its rejection. I showed some of the results of the new modelling to some colleagues today and while the interpretation of the graphs wasn’t immediately obvious (I showed them pictures without explanatory text) they seemed interested in what it said about the UPTECH study.
 Mejía, Jaime F., Wraith, Darren E., Mengersen, Kerrie L., & Morawska, Lidia (2007) Trends in size classified particle number concentration in subtropical Brisbane, Australia, based on a 5 year study. Atmospheric Environment, 41(5), pp. 1064-1079. QUT ePrints.
 Mejía, Jaime F., Morawska, Lidia, & Mengersen, Kerrie L. (2008) Spatial variation in particle number size distributions in a large metropolitan area. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 8(5), pp. 1127-1138. QUT ePrints.