Rejection letters, correspondence, and miscellanea from the otherwise empty annals of the Journal of Universal Rejection.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Application to Editorial Board I

Dear readership of Reprobatio Certa, 

We received yet another application to join the prestigious Editorial Board of JofUR.  I am tired of making these difficult decisions, so I thought I'd pawn this one off on y'all. Please leave your vote in the Comments section.  Impassioned responses will carry extra weight.  The tally will be announced in one week.

Dear Editors,

            I find the premise of your journal inspiring, and I would like to apply for a position as manuscript editor, junior manuscript editor, copy editor, assistant copy editor, or any similar position that might be available.

            I have been a free-lance editor of scientific texts for over ten years, and I have edited many papers that were destined for rejection.  More importantly, I have extensive experience in not editing papers assigned to me, ignoring them while I'm at the horse races, at the karaoke bar, or simply napping on my couch.  I feel that I am capable of ignoring, in great detail, any and all manuscripts, regardless of subject matter.  Although I do have a résumé, sending it to you would, in my estimation, not be in keeping with the ideals of the JofUR.

            Because I recognize the fact that yours is a fledgling journal, I would be willing to provide my services for a nominal fee—perhaps even at no charge (on a trial basis, of course)—although I am certainly interested to know what type of health/dental plan you offer.

            My five-year plan is to become the editor-in-chief of your journal or a similar journal, so that I would only have to tell other editors to ignore manuscripts, rather than doing all of the heavy lifting myself.  However, my immediate goal is the swift and definitive rejection of my application, which will provide me with a stepping stone to even greater rejections in the future. 

            I thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide in helping me achieve my goals.

                        With mustered regards,

                                  Jeff Boyles

PS - I hope the cordial tone of this letter has not harmed my chances of rejection.

Jeff Boyles, ELS
Chief Editor
Precise Editing - Tradução e Edição de Textos Ltda.

Dear Jeff,

Your application is a tough nut to crack.  I'm inclined to leave the decision up to the readership of JofUR, or rather of Reprobatio Certa.  Would it be okay to post your application on the blog and let our readership vote on whether to add you to the board?

If not, I shall have to think about it myself, and I don't like to do that as it can give me a headache.

With asparagus,
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Journal of Universal Rejection

Dear Caleb,

            I assume that the JofUR readership cannot be trusted, so I would be happy to have them vote on it.

                        Best radishes,



  1. I say we reject his proposal to be rejected.

    1. I say we reject your proposal to reject his proposal to be rejected.

  2. while i appreciate that such a prestigious journal may indeed have use for an editor, hiring one who applies to the journal undermines the basic integrity of the journal.

    i think that once he's applied you have to reject him.

    or you may reject my comment and do whatever you please.

    it would have been better if you had realized you need the assistance and sought him out, thereby not having to accept the submission of anything, including an letter of inquiry.

  3. In your interesting though by the very nature of the journal you're sending it to utterly inconsequential application you state: "...and I would like to apply for a position as manuscript editor, junior manuscript editor, copy editor, assistant copy editor, or any similar position that might be available".

    Here I would strongly suggest to replace ".....or any similar position that might be available" by: "AND any similar position that might be available".

    A position like the one applied for here takes unlimited if not extraterrestrial powers of rejection and hence should be: Unlimited. Then maybe the journal would consider rejecting you. Even though, strictly speaking, you already will have been rejected, probably.

  4. I stopped reading after the word "free-lance", simply because the hyphen threw me off. I had to think about this. After some long and intense research (OK, it was really neither), I concluded that there can only be two possible scenarios for the use hyphen here:

    1) Applicant is referring to the original use of the word and is describing himself as a "medieval mercenary warrior" or "free-lance", indicating that the lance is not sworn to any lord's services (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freelancer#Etymology).
    I find the idea of having a knight without sworn loyalty to any particular lord on the editorial board disturbing. What if he brings his lance to editorial board meetings? What if a submitting writer enlists the applicant and his lance to promote his paper? It could turn violent and the editorial board may be tempted to accept papers purely to avoid bloodshed. The journal's perfect rejection rate is at stake (no pun intended). Better to reject the applicant, per his wishes, for the safety of everyone involved.

    b) Applicant is too liberal with hyphenation. Reject.