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

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Monday, February 28, 2011

The Multiverse

Dear Dr. J.,

Thank you for your submission “The Failure of the Multiverse Hypothesis as a Defense of Theism” to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

In this particular path through the Multiverse I chose not to read your paper, and I chose to reject it.  One can ask oneself if other outcomes were possible.  The answer is "Yes!"  There are certainly other paths through the Multiverse in which I read your paper.  However, you can rest assured that every single path led inextricably to rejection.

Best regards,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Show, Don't Tell

Dear K.,

Thank you for your submission entitled "Your Touch" to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

I'm afraid your poem was not very good, so we are rejecting it. Try to get some more details in the poem—to "show, don't tell." That will improve it. Also, maybe don't use pink.

Best regards,
Caleb

Saturday, February 26, 2011

William Caxton

Dear Prof B,

Thank you for your submission to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

I don't know who this William Caxton fellow is.  But more importantly, I read the first paragraph of your paper and I still don't know when or where he lived.  May I suggest that, like every good biography ever written, you start your paper with the sentence "William Caxton was born in (YEAR) in (LOCATION)."  I understand that your paper may not be a biography of William Caxton.  Nonetheless, we are going to have to agree with the other journals and reject your submission.

Best regards,
Caleb
--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Friday, February 25, 2011

4 Minutes 33 Seconds

Dear David Tscharke,

Thank you for your submission and criticism of the Journal of Universal Rejection.

First, regarding the criticism.  You claimed it was "small," but then there was this whole long paragraph and my eyes almost glazed over just skimming it.  I gather that you are suggesting something that would take a lot of work to set up.  I reject that notion.

Next, as to your submission.  The letter was very nice.  With letterhead and all.  Great job.  However to my mind if one wanted to make a textual analogue of Cage's 4'33", that would be 4.55 pages, not 4.33 pages.  So I'm afraid we must reject your work.  It was very close to being accepted, so, if you like Sisyphean tasks, I encourage you to not give up. 

Best regards,
Caleb
--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Limerick I

Editor's note: Rejecting a limerick.

There was a submission from Keith,
That was awesome beyond all belief,
But policies can't be neglected
And so your poem is rejected.
Please do not come to grief.

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Intrahousehold Commitment

Dear Professor Emmons,

You can find our working paper in attachment. Thank you in advance for considering our research work, we look forward to your reply.

Kind regards,

Ewout Verriest
University of Leuven, Belgium.

Dear Ewout,

Thank you for your submission to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

We have judged your paper is not an important addition to the realm of human knowledge, because what you aim to investigate is already well know.  For example, you say "we develop tests that can empirically verify whether observed consumption behavior is consistent with (varying degrees of) intrahousehold commitment," but I contend these tests are not necessary.

Taking going to my favorite fast food restaurant (Carl's Jr.) as an example.  I want to go like every day.  However my wife says I'm not allowed to.  (Well, she phrases it differently, but that's what it boils down to.)  So therefore I don't go.  Hence my consumptive behavior is consistent with my high degree of intrahousehold commitment.  As we say in math, the example proves the rule.  (Ok, I admit we don't say that.)

Your submission is hereby rejected.

Best regards,
Caleb
--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection


Dear Prof. Emmons,

I understand your concerns about the relevance of our research, given the scenario you have described.
In your case, it does not look like your wife wants to prevent you from spending too high a share of your global family budget on fast food because she dislikes it and would like to spend it on other commodities (as would be the interpretation of our model), but rather because she is genuinely concerned about your health (something which is not (yet) included in our model).
Nevertheless, it could also be the case that she is more farsighted than you are; she understands that if you were to die young due to overweight or heart/vascular disease caused by Carl’s Jr., this would both be bad for your welfare (evidently) and for her, since she would be worse off personally (she misses you), psychologically (she could have prevented it by forbidding you to go every day) and financially (assuming you are the main earner). Therefore, your wife is either genuinely concerned about your wellbeing, or simply more economically rational than you are. In both cases, I believe she merits a Saturday night dinner in a fancier place than Carl’s Jr. once in a while.

Once I will have incorporated these features into our model, I am confident you will want to reconsider the rejection of our scientific contribution.

Kind regards,
Ewout

Dear Ewout,

Thank you for following up.  The arguments you make (regarding my health etc., etc.) are good.  I shall try your suggestion about a fancy non-Carl's Jr dinner for my wife.  Nevertheless I must let you know that the rejection stands.

Best,
Caleb

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fabio

Editor's note: We were very excited to receive the following enquiry:

Hi all,
can i organize a special issue?

-fabio

We quickly responded:

Dear Fabio,

Yes, if and only if you are the Fabio pictured here: 


Best,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection
 


The response came back quickly:

caleb,

That's when i was out of shape.....

-f

Monday, February 21, 2011

As Easy as Salty Water

Editor's note: tonight a long series of correspondence with Prof. Angelos Michaelides.   I especially recommend the bit with the YouTube video:
 
Dear Editors, 

I write to submit our manuscript “Initial stages in salt crystal dissolution determined with ab initio molecular dynamics”  to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

The manuscript describes the first quantum mechanical simulations of salt (NaCl) crystal dissolution in liquid water, and reveals for the first time the precise mechanism by which salt crystals dissolve.
Given that two thirds of our planet is covered in salty water, it almost goes without saying that salt dissolution is one of the most vital and fundamental physical processes to mankind, of central importance to fields such as atmospheric science, chemistry, biology, and physics. Despite this key role and increased contemporary drivers from e.g. nanotechnology and the desalination industry, a reputable journal willing to publish our manuscript has  so far remained elusive. 
Although your journal has an unusually low acceptance rate I am confident that our manuscript contains such exciting and groundbreaking results that you will have no choice but to accept our manuscript for publication. 
A copy of the manuscript is attached. Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me. 
Looking forward to a positive response to the review process. 
Kind regards, 
Angelos Michaelides 

----------------------------------------------------------
Prof. Angelos Michaelides
London Centre for Nanotechnology & Department of Chemistry,
University College London,
17-19 Gordon Street,
London WC1H 0AH
----------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------
Dear Prof. Michaelides,

Thank you for your interesting submission to the Journal of Universal Rejection. 

I am not certain that our readership is interested in the mechanism of salt dissolution.  Let me delve into this a bit more.  You claim that they should be because roughly 2/3 of the earth is covered by salt water.  Isn't that actually an argument *against* needing to understand how salt dissolves in water?  There is so much salty water around, it's not like we really need to know how to make more.  Which brings me to my second point, which is that even if we wanted to make more, it's not like it's that hard.  You can really just pour some Morton's salt right into a glass of water and stir it a bit. The white little crystals kinda disappear into the water.  After that it doesn't taste as good, though if you add some lemon juice and sugar it can become pretty okay.

Next, you claim your "simulations reveal a complex multi-step process triggered by the departure of Cl ions from the lattice, with a well-defined intermediate state wherein departing ions are partially solvated but remain in contact with the crystal."  This sentence led us to suspect that you hadn't actually done any simulations at all.  Instead you have all probably been sitting around on an old couch and watching soap operas on the telly.  Maybe it's just me, but it sounds like the ions are like the ex-lovers that keep turning up and spoiling the wedding.

Therefore your submission is rejected.

Best regards,
Caleb
--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection
http://www.universalrejection.org/

Dear Caleb,

thank you very much for your letter of February 20th. 

I cannot deny that I was disappointed to learn that you did not consider our manuscript suitable for publication in the Journal of Universal Rejection. However, I take your point that there is probably too much salty water on earth already and yes it is certainly an easy experiment to perform as one of my students demonstrated in the 1970s:  

I am appalled however and cannot in any way accept the scurrilous accusation that we sit around on an old couch watching soap operas all day. The couch grace our posteriors with is of the highest quality I'll have you know; soft leather and less than 3 months old.

Best wishes, 
Angelos

Dear Angelos,

Thank you for setting me straight about the couch.  Also for pointing out the video about salt water.  It was uncannily similar to the rejection letter.  You all must have had the video cameras ready to go and started filming as soon as you received the letter last night. 

I was hoping to post our correspondence on JofUR's blog:
http://reprobatiocerta.blogspot.com/
Does that sound good to you? 

Best regards,
Caleb
--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection


Dear Caleb,
yes, that's fine with me but there can be no doubt that the video was made in the 1970s. George is an old man now.
Best wishes, 
Angelos

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dog Food

Photo by limonada                                     
Dear Prof. B.,

Thank you for your submission to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

Do you ever lament the excuses that students devise in order to try to submit their homework late?  In my experience none has been so bold as to break out "the dog ate my homework."  Therefore I was shocked to see this very reason appear in your paper.  I am assuming that when you say you "dogfooded your algorithm" that means that you were actually unable to come up with an algorithm that would work, but since you work at a fancy Ivy League school you didn't want to admit this.  Very bold, and very clever.

Yet bold/clever excuses do not cut it at JofUR.  We require more.  Something more... I haven't figure out what exactly.  But no matter; your submission is rejected.

Best regards,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Haiku I

Editor's note: Rejecting a haiku.


Our current issue
Is full.  Please try again soon.
Though it is pointless.


--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Friday, February 18, 2011

Remove the Bit About the Cod

Editor's note: The authors of this paper notified us that it had been rejected from another publication barring certain hard-to-meet demands.


Dear E,

That is outrageous!  How could they demand such a thing?  Oh, and
thank you for your submission to our prestigious Journal.  We are
planning on rejecting your piece.  Indeed we have rejected it.  But we also demand that you take the entire play "A Winter's Tale" by
Shakespeare and insert it willy-nilly and in random order into the text of your paper.  That will really improve things.  Also perhaps remove the part about the cod.  Who cares about cod?

Best regards,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Meat

Editor's note: This series of correspondence is posted with the permission of the submitter... 

Dear Sir/Madam,
 It is with pride we send you our bachelor thesis on The New Meat. Our paper deals with the subject of laboratory meat, grown out of stemcells of animals. We adress the potential benefits, the sociological and technical challenges, and the upcoming path this new technology has to walk, will it succeed in modern society. 

We hope you will consider this paper for rejection and we are waiting for your response eagerly.

 With kind regards,
 Barend Bos*
 Rik van Dijk
 Myrte Mijnders
 Bauke van der Velde

 *corresponding author

 PS: We wrote our thesis in Dutch, so the process of rejection could be
 faster and more efficient.

Dear Barend,

Thank you for your submission to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

It was very thoughtful of you to write your paper in Dutch, thereby
relieving the need for this editor to read it.  However you did
provide a bit too much detail in your cover letter to make rejection
as much of a breeze as it might otherwise have been.  Why did you have
to give me so much info?  Ah well.

So, New Meat.  I gather from your paper that you are proposing growing
new humans from embryonic stem cells to power a new generation of
machines that will be our overlords.  Eventually one named Neo will
arise and unplug us from the Matrix.  Since I'm not worried about this
future, we don't need to warn people about it.  Therefore we have
decided that we may reject your submission.

Best of luck to you,
Caleb


--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection
Dear Caleb,
Thank you for your rejection. Upon reading your response, we realized you were absolutely right. We now see that the future with overlords is not the dystopia we used to assume it would be.

Therefore we withdraw are naive submission, and hope you will consider are upcoming papers about (1) The Psychology of Choosing Pills, (2) Learning Every Martial Art There Is In a Day, and  (3) The Use of Leather Coats to Impress Women for rejection as well.


With kind regards,
Barend Bos


PS: I give permission to post this correspondence on your blog, if it livees up to your hilarity standards

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Must... have... double... western... bacon... cheeseburger...

Dear John C. Menzies,

Thank you for your submission "The Adoption of Solar Cell Technology in Western Countries and the Obvious Increase in Obesity" to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

We did not bother to read the attachment because we felt we had a good grasp on the material from your title.  We have already warned our neighbors that they should either remove the solar panels from their roofs, or we are going to send them a bill for our lunch at Carl's Jr.  Those jerks are causing our weight problems!  I knew it all along.

Although the read (or lack thereof) was enlightening, we have decided to reject your submission.  I am sure however that you will find the right home for this impressive piece of scholarship.

Best regards,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

It's French to My Wife

Editor's Note: I got my wife to help me with this one.  The submission was a theological one on the effects of prayer at a long distance.

Cher David,
Merci pour votre soumission. Nous avons entendu votre priere pour le rejet de votre article. Et bien voila, vous seriez comble. L'article est rejete!
Bonne chance,

Caleb
--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's French to Me

Dear HZ,

Thank you for your submission to the Journal of Universal Rejection.  Your piece was very interesting, though of course I didn't understand it because it was in French.  I did like the quote from Karl Marx, though again, sadly, I did not understand it because it was in French.  I considered sending your manuscript to someone that reads French, but I thought, hey, let's not waste bandwidth.  I'm afraid this is the point where I must let you know that your manuscript has been rejected.

Best of luck in your future,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Rejection for All

Dear World,

In less than a month, you have sent me almost 300 submissions.  You have lent me an editorial board of the best and brightest.  You have clicked on my page, shared the link on Facebook, tweeted, written me poetry, interviewed me, and sent me a lot of random junk.  And what have I given back?  Rejection.  Pure rejection.  And so I would like to give back more.

More rejection, that is!  Here on this blog we shall post rejection letters for all to read.  For submitters to the JofUR, you need not worry, the rejectee's identity will be (mostly) concealed unless you give permission otherwise in your submission cover letter.

Best regards,
Caleb
--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection