Re: reviewing papers

Rue L. Cromwell (cromwell@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU)
Wed, 20 Mar 1996 07:24:13 +0000

> Considering the heat of the recent exchanges [again] I was about to
>call on David!!! I am not sure that that would help -- nor am I sure that your
>well-meaning effort will help.
> I tried to introduce a perspective similar to that which you mentioned
>in your post. . . . That having a couple of papers rejected is not an unusual
>event in our field. I have lost count on how many I have had rejected.
> I would like to repeat -- one can find a compatible reference group [an
>old term, introduced by one of the very best -- Muzafer Sherif] if one looks
> Jim Mancuso

By all means, count me as a member of that club; I still get a small bundle
of rejections every year. I had to learn long ago that journal reviewers
and federal grant reviewers do not (and cannot) play God. And, having
played those review roles many years myself, I am mindful that ideas well
ahead of their time or extremely creative simply don't make it well in those
peer review groups (make it no better than the flawed stuff).

But, have some sympathy; peer review is the best we've got, since God has
limited office hours. Wish the editors and peer reviewers good luck. And,
while you are at it, wish God good luck too.

If you see your acceptance/rejection record as a measure of your personal
identity, you are in deep trouble (whether that record is good or bad).
You'd better do something about it.


Rue L. Cromwell