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

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Friday, July 29, 2011

It Is a Pipe

Here is ma'gritte (pronounce like Groundskeeper Willie would) new rejection.  Apologies to the unrefined non-Francophones in the audience.

Also available on a T-shirt.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

International Transcultural Psychiatry Conference

Dear readers,

I received the following invitation:

Dear Dr. Caleb J. Emmons ,

On behalf of the organizing committee, it gives us immense pleasure to invite you to the “International Transcultural Psychiatry Conference” scheduled to be held at Ranchi Institute of Neuro-psychiatry and Allied Sciences (RINPAS), Ranchi (Jharkhand), India w.e.f. 24-25 September 2011.

We would like to welcome you to the conference as our valuable speaker and present your recent work and ideas of  Special values of Abelian L-functions at s=0 that were published in Journal of Number Theory .

RINPAS is an autonomous, post graduate mental health teaching and research institute under the Ministry of Health, F.W., M.E&R, Govt. of Jharkhand. It has 500 beds for patients with psychiatric disorders. It is a premier institute of India with multi-disciplinary approach in the field of behavioral sciences.

According to the WHO, 75% to 85% of the world population relies on local healers when in need of medical care.  At the same time, only a fraction of the world population has access to Western psychological and psychiatric services. In those countries and non-Western cultural communities, traditional healers are providing most of the needed psychological services. In order to deal with the societal changes and their influence on clients and communities we need to reflect on our clinical practices, our research agenda and maybe also on the position of mental health workers in the public debate. This conference will address issues deducted from this theme, and will discuss them in relation with mental health care in the form of a workshop. This workshop will be attended and addressed by several international delegates who are experts in their own domains in this topic. They will throw more light on the scenario of transcultural influences on psychiatry practices internationally.

The workshop will consist of both guest lectures from our renowned international experts as well as free papers from our participants.

We cordially invite you and your family members to participate in this workshop to make it a success and help us fulfill our aim of creating an international atmosphere of transcultural psychiatry.

Looking forward for confirmation of your participation,
With warm regards,
Prof.  Amool ranjan Singh Choudhury                                Prof. Suprakash
          (Chairperson)                                                                 (Secretary)
On the conference website I found the Highlights of the Scientific Program:
• Cultural variation in experiences and meaning of mental illnesses and treatment
• Traditional healer’s attitudes and beliefs in dealing psychiatric patients across cultures
• Healer and psychiatrist- a comparative analysis over various cultures
• Transcultural psychiatry- From theory to practice
• Culture bound syndromes
• Differences in  in-patient psychiatric treatment in various cultures
• Psychiatric rehabilitation across various cultures
• The role of spirituality in mental illness
• Religious experiences and psychopathology-A trans-cultural appraisal
• Dissociative disorders- A transcultural appraisal
• Spirit healing and psychosis
• Sex-related issues in different cultures
• Issues related to psychiatric and psychological tools developments over various cultures
• Cross-cultural familial adversities
• Difference in child rearing practices in different cultures in context of psychiatric disorders
• Child psychiatric disorders- Cross cultural variations in presentation, attitudes and treatments
• Acculturation
• Suicide, its causes and its variations across various cultures
• Differences in the concept and levels of psychopathology related insight in different mental disorders in different cultures
• Differences in therapeutic modules across cultures
• Stigma related issues in different cultures
• Variation in psychiatry diagnosis related practices in different cultures
• Substance related issues across various cultures
• Eating disorders and other adolescent problems in various cultures
• Ethnic variations in other psychiatric disorders: presentation, diagnosis and treatment
• Miscellaneous

I suppose that my pure-maths paper Special Values of Abelian L-functions at s=0 would fit under Miscellaneous.  So what do you think, shall I go and speak to the 500 beds, or shall I reject the invited talk?

Or do you think it's a trap?  Do they know I need transcultural psychiatry?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mmmmmmm Berry Brains....

Dear Ms. B.:

Thank you for your short story submission. We appreciate the traditional start and finish, and you've chosen two of our favorite themes: domestic abuse and animal cruelty. Alas, our short story audience is currently grieving the end of the space shuttle program and craving space opera with transgendered zombie generational families. While your story comes close -- well, no. It really doesn't, does it.

We hope you'll keep us in mind for your next short about dysfunctional bear families. Consider throwing in a zombie or two.

Sonia Lyris

Short Fiction Editor
Journal of Universal Rejection

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Merry Gentleman

Some follow-up correspondence to last Thursday's post:

Ah, a rejection that looks like it is in the same key. Thanks so much.

I have one question. I tried to put your rejection into a song (my catalog of songs is limited, I admit, as are my musical abilities), but none of them worked, including:

"Ain't no need to go no further,"
"I'm a Loser,"
"Viya Con Dios,"
"Mr. Blue,"
"Wrong about me,"
"Never say no"
"Dirty Robber."

Any suggetions? I need something to hum along with  while I repeat your rejection several times.

David A. Swanson, Professor
Department of Sociology
1223 Watkins Hall
University of California Riverside
Riverside, CA USA 92521

Dear Dr. Swanson:

The tune you are looking for is "The Gay Caballero".   Try singing your rejection along with this Frank Crumit version:


Eric Chicken
Department of Statistics
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4330

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quietly in the End

Dear K.T.,

Thank you for submitting your poem "Looking at You" to JofUR.  My response takes the form of a poem inspired by yours:

Looking At Looking At You
Short lines.  Tumbles of autumnal words.
A thin period in-between muttering lines.
One look, and then another.
Swallowing the pill of your snapshot
Scraping on the windows, a twig
I feel empty; no smile creeping
Overgrown roads leading nowhere
From one synapse to another
(Breathing through the mouth because my nose is stuffed up.)

Here in the rejection of your poem -
Tintinnabulous echoes of no-thought
Daydreams, fraught with melancholy,
Reading old JofUR submissions wearing sunglasses.
Outside I've just built a Weber barbeque,
With only a hammer, screw-driver, and block of wood.
Shiny and new, with no hint of ash
My son tried to knock it over
(It is the hard pleasure of shaping an ax-handle.)

Phrases swelter in the summer rainstorm,
Fat raindrops patter on the mossy roof
Empty nests of yesteryear's birds decay,
Rafters now home to fetal mice.
Crying in the dying day like unopened tulips
I sit in the back bedroom typing this missive
Sniffling while changing every beautiful line of your poem.
I am the supreme rejector, laughing.
(Quietly in the end I reject your piece.)

Best regards,

Caleb Emmons, PhD
Journal of Universal Rejection

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Sampling of Poetry

Dear Professor Swanson:

I read with interest the first line of the submitted poem, "Farewell Metathema".  I noticed that the poem was rather longer than the typical five- to ten-liners I usually come across.  I'm a busy man with little time.  To speed up the review process, I decided to treat the poem as data and took a random sample for analysis.  Logically, one might argue that this method might not catch the true flavor of the poem, but logic is overrated.

There are 1329 characters in this poem, including spaces.  I randomly selected 100 characters.  The result was not easily interpretable.  I won't go into the details, but several unsavory words appeared in the sample.  Some of them appeared to be directed at me personally.  (Reject 1, accept 0.)

To be fair, I may have sampled without considering some of the structure of the poem.  A second sample was obtained, this time maintaining the relations of the characters to each other.  Specifically, I sampled words rather than characters. There were 223 words, I sampled 18.  I also preserved the order of the words as they appeared in the original poem.  One of the lines in this poem sample came out as "cross-eyed man's embarrassed erupting" which clearly refers to an episode in my life I am trying to forget.   (Reject 2, accept 0.)

My recommendation:

A poem submitted by Swanson
Cast on the reviewer aspersion
He gave it two tries
But to no one's surprise
It earned a solid rejection

Thank you for submitting to the Journal of Universal Rejection.


Eric Chicken
Associate Editor
Journal of Universal Rejection

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Dear Dr. Dunkelbach,

Finally that mystery is solved!  I've always wondered why the pigeons walked like that.  A single muscle!! The solution is so ridiculously apparent that of course everyone had missed it until now!  I applaud you sir for your efforts at making this world a better place. 

Sadly you sent your brilliant work to a dead-end / cul-de-sac / No Outlet street.  We are forced (by a muscular twitch bending the joint twixt thigh and shin) to reject your work.  However, since your work was so seminal, so important, so mind-bending, I will go ahead and forward it for consideration in Science and Nature on your behalf.  Trust me, I have pull with those folks because they really admire JofUR.  (Their emulation of us is a little pathetic, but don't tell anyone I said that.)

Best regards,

Caleb Emmons, PhD
Journal of Universal Rejection

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

American Psycho

Dear Prof T.,

Thank you for your submission "Automatic Assumptions of Automaticity" to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

For one thing, you sell yourself short by assuming the outcome will be rejection.  Was that an automatic assumption of automaticity?  Did you think we have a rejecto-bot?  Sadly, no.  We should install one.  Maybe that is what your paper is about.  This editor didn't really have the time or energy left to read it.

For another thing, your assessment of the outcome was spot on.  Your work is rejected.  We thought the intro lacked punch.  Why talk about those other guys and some article they wrote?  Just come out of the gate swinging.  In fact don't reference anyone else! 

Finally, congratulations on having your piece published in American Psycho.  I heard that was a creepy publication, but the part I saw of it in your attachment didn't look so bad.

Best regards,
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Journal of Universal Rejection

Monday, July 18, 2011


Dear Michael,

as the associate editor for Jurisprudence at the Journal of Universal Rejection, I had the honor of reviewing your submission "I found a toast on my Virgin Mary and this proves the existence of God.", of which you provided the appendix. Last night I was wired the corresponding article - a very stimulating piece indeed. It might actually make it to number 667 (beyond evil, that is) in the literature review at http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/GodProof.htm

If God does indeed exist (as the article argues), then he has - one way or another - authored the article that you claim to be yours. In that case we would of course have to accept it, according to 1 Timothy 4:4 ("For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude.") Yet among all known manifestations of God, there is none having graduated at Davis. I must therefore call into question the conclusiveness of your paper.

Besides, I take issue with the literature review section that you provide. By the standards of our journal, "GOD is in all things" is not a comprehensive survey, just as "HE sayeth so" is not a proper citation. Since your article ignores pertinent papers such as http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7723841 I am not surprised that you fail to acknowledge the socio-ethnographic
implications of the Virgin Mary imitating a kayayo in meditation. Your article therefore fails to meet the high standards of academic quality and interdisciplinary perspective that our journal presupposes.

On top of all that, there are legal concerns. You will be aware that the JoUR is available (and widely read!) in Denmark. According to Sec. 140 of the Danish Penal Code (Staffeloven), "Den, der offentlig driver spot med eller forhåner noget her i landet lovligt bestående religionssamfunds troslærdomme eller gudsdyrkelse, straffes med bøde eller fængsel indtil 4 måneder." We are not quite sure what that means exactly, but it's something about being jailed for ridiculing religion. Sincere as your article may be, it might be misconstrued, wherefore we cannot publish it in good faith. I therefore reject it.

Best regards,
Hanjo Hamann

Friday, July 15, 2011

Jenyusz Corry Spawn Dance

Sumision- y teriblul books get publishd and min dont.

Teribul book get publishd and min dont cuz the publshng industi dont no genyus when day c it. Also they stik to staus kwo and cant stand 2 hav precunsepshuns chalenged.

My srty abut a boy of 12 fallin in love with a 60yo prest is heartbraking and my mum says it is a wurk of 'stagring genyus'
Hair it is.

[Clipped by the Editor-in-Chief to avoid publishing a submission]

Da End.

If ya rezhet dis you r as dum as evryone else.



Deer cat,

where rejection ur submissn 2 JofUR becuz shuddinit red
"One day the prest killed *****hisself*****." ???????????????????

I put in the starz xtra soas u wud know witch part wuz wrong.  Their not suppose d 2 be they're wen we published ur storey, witch where not going 2 do as I sed b4.

now whose dummer?
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Journal of Universal Rejection

fanku 4 puntng out mi mispling. i prshayt da fdbck.

bt i thk rjection 4 mispelung is smul-mindud whn u fink of mportunce of mi stry.
 culdnut u just edit it? i here dats ur job.

u r da dummer 1.

ifn u tink bing editor-in-chef of so an impotent jrnl as Jofur is so EZ or that u
cud do bettor, well, ydontcha jiz start ur oan jrnl ??????

i am try hard, but wen u say i dum, well it hurtz my feelies.

p.s. is it u the dum 1.   ha ha ha!!

i iz sry 4 hutin filins. mus b vry hard 2 edit big impurtnt jurnal. bt I notiss lut of splling mistkes. Wunce u speled ' Luv' 'L-O-V-E!' so ur not so grate.

iz vry hurd not 2 haz jenyuz notissed by peepul. 2. dat rilly hurt mi flings.

But win I am ded and rilly famus n vry1 wunts 2 rid mi wurk ull rigrit not publeeshn me.

PS; NAH U R DUM 1!!!!

and i mite start mi own jurnl. 'jurnl of proper spllin an jenyusz'. One pirsun poblijed and it ME ME ME.

i oanlee writed 'love' liek dat bcuz i wuz bing fancee, dat is hough da Franch usta writed it b4 they're qurant weigh witch is 'loeuf.' u shudda noan dat if u is rilly jenyusz.

anyweigh, y doan i put are corry spawn dance on my blog, den will see whose rilly the dumdum cuz the reeders ken voat?

- cable

dat iz eccepabul.

den moar pplcn c how clevar i am.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Journal of Universal Rejection Store

Dearest Readership,

Who has not taken a sip of coffee from a trendy Science cup before spotting that it is super-late on a Nature clock and immediately donning super comfy pyJAMAs? So, in the long and illustrious march of prestigious Journals' merchandising, it is only natural the the Journal of Universal Rejection should join.

Herewith, and with great fanfare here, we proudly unveil The Journal of Universal Rejection Store.

Get your credit cards out.  Check Facebook for your friends' upcoming birthdays!  Stop grinding your teeth because the start of school is not far away.  With your sporty new shirt you'll keep your classmates, colleagues, coworkers, social workers and custodial staff laughing as they go.

Go to the Store (I am using the Jedi mind-trick on you).  Go often.  New designs are in the pipeline.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Shortcomings of Your Proposal

Dear K,

Thank you for submitting to the Journal of Universal Rejection.  Unfortunately for you this editor is 6'2" tall, and did not take kindly to the Modest Proposal put forth that all heights be capped via surgery at 5'2".

And so I'm Swiftly dropping this rejection on you from a great height (like a bird, yeah, a bird struck by a stone, yeah).

How is the weather down there? 

Caleb Emmons, PhD
Journal of Universal Rejection

Friday, July 8, 2011

To Nap, or Not to Nap...

Dear Profs H and V:

Thank you very much for your submission "Universal Rejection as an Editing Policy to Avoid the Publication Bias" to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

The piece was brilliant, a real breath of fresh air in the musty halls of the publishing world.  It is true that I had not thought about how fully our Journal helps the desperate layperson.  Of course I reject your idea of NAPs (negative-acceptance rate publications) out-of-hand.  (I do, however, fully embrace naps!  Especially since my son has decided 5:30am is a great time to wake up every day.) 

Moreover, I reject your article for publication in JofUR.  It is not due to the NAPs, which was a minor, remediable, point.  Rather the main flaw was that you graphed the number of replicable experiments vs. acceptance rate on a logarithmic scale.  Yet don't we all know only too well that log(0) is undefined! 

Yawn, g'night,
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Journal of Universal Rejection

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dollar Days at JofUR

Dear avid readership, we have an !!!EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!!!  While many of you celebrated the birth of a nation a couple days ago by exploding copious amounts of gunpowder near my sleeping son, the real fireworks should have been saved for today's announcement.  In honor of the adoption of the dollar as the official currency of the US on July 6, 1785, we have decided to have a !!!SPECIAL EVENT SALE!!!

For the next week, a year's subscription to JofUR can be secured for 50% off the cover price.  That is four lovely issues of JofUR can be ours for a mere £60.   

!!!BUT WAIT, THAT'S NOT ALL!!!  In honor of the adoption of the dollar, we will even accept $60.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Youngest Rejector

Dear Dr. Thermosquel,

I ha

"/'.;l,,l m k  m,,ub99njjnmjlkll;lnm  

+, /,,/kgjmuk.i.=Ui=iii

Therefore your submission is rejected.

Best regards,

p.s.  My son took over the rejection letter for awhile but I have wrested the computer back from him.  I regret your rejection could not have been more sensical.

Caleb Emmons, PhD
Journal of Universal Rejection

Readers Reject IV: An Update

Note from the Editor-in-Chief:  We are busy looking for referees as per the first comment.  A decision will be rendered when javelinas soar.