Plea to the Universe

Can prominent authors please be at least a little bit realistic about the quality and interest-level of the manuscripts they submit to high-impact journals, and can the editors of those journals please not be such fucken fraidy-cats about telling those authors that their submissions are shitte and not worth reviewing? Because I am getting sick of wasting my time reviewing boring, shoddy, shitte-asse papers for high-impact journals just to see them rejected.


  1. says

    hahaha, yes, that’s one of the things I’ve been shocked about as a reviewer… like scales removed from my eyes

    yet, I can’t get away with that sort of thing (yet…)

  2. In Hell's Kitchen (NYC) says

    lol…I work in the twilight between mathematics and engineering. The 5 journals I regularly review for are being carpet-bombed by Chinese authors (the last 10 years have been a real eye-opener). Most of the shitte comes from there…about every third paper that I see from China is a blatant attempt at re-publishing old shitte. I’m guessing over there, at least in my area of shittexpertise-e, they think research is the unhyphenated version of re-search.

    I have to confess that the quality of European submissions has gone way, way uppe in the 20 years I’ve been reviewing…makes one wonder whether or not it’s time to pull up stakes and go become a Yourpeean socialist or sumpthin…

  3. Spiny Norman says

    What’s blown my mind as a referee is seeing major technical problems raised by referees ignored by an editors, when the corresponding author is an 800 lb. gorilla. Lesser mortals, of course, must specifically address all 35 points raised by Referee #2 with new experiments, no matter how redundant, imbecilic, or technically preposterous the points are.

  4. says

    Word. I’m kind of shocked by the low quality of stuff I get asked to review–stuff that seems like it should have been stopped at the Editor’s desk and returned without peer reviews.

    Then again, maybe I should start circulating more half-baked manscripts of my own. Maybe I’m holding myself to too high a standard.

  5. a journal editor says

    I’m a journal editor – in your field, Historiann, broadly speaking. Not a top top one, but a very respectable one, with an excellent publisher. We do get some real rubbish, and often senior scholars are the worst offenders.

    The problem is that as an editor you don’t necessarily have the expertise to reject something outright. Obviously if there are no primary sources, or the subject is far too arcane, we will reject outright. But I’m very conscious of not acting as a gatekeeper, and giving authors a fair crack of the whip. And sometimes weak papers become strong ones after a revise and resubmit. This rarely happens with big name authors though.

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