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

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Archer Urges Caution

Dear Sir:

Thank you for considering the Journal of Universal Rejection for the publication of your astronomy manuscript.  The extent of my knowledge of astronomy is a vague understanding of the effect of the zodiac on the stock market.  Our editor assures me this more than qualifies me to review your paper, so let's get right to it.

On the cover page you provided blanks for recording the dates of "received"  and "accepted".  Such optimism!  I received your paper on December 20. This places your submission under the zodiac sign of Sagittarius the archer.  Consulting various reliable sources, I see that for a paper submitted under the influence of the archer the following are applicable:

(1) "You will be lucky in matters of love" 

(2) "Be generous to strangers"

(3) "Avoid physical confrontations with clowns and mimes" 

(4) "Careless acceptance leads to universal destruction and misery" 

Let's review these:  (1) There’s a first time for everything.  (2) Good for your karma.  (3) Excellent advice at any time.  (4) Your paper is rejected.

Have a pleasant day.

Eric Chicken
Associate Editor

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Time for the Metric System

Dear Dr. E           ,

Thank you for submitting your screed "Going Metric: a Renewed Call for Adoption of the Metric System in the U.S." to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

In your fluffy opinion piece your central claim is that "it is high time for the U.S. to move to the metric system."

We are not going to publish your piece.  It is not because you don't have a good point about the metric system.  On the contrary, it's that you do not go far enough.  You chicken out in the same way that whatever Europeons did in whatever century when they moved to the metric system, or whatever (I'm currently boycotting Wikipedia, so cannot fill in facts like this).

How is it that you do not go far enough?  You inadvertently mentioned it when you say it is "high time" to move to the metric system.  Yes, it is time to switch to the meter, the kilogram, and the secoond.  What is a secoond?  Well the day would be broken into 10 hoors, each hoor would have 100 minootes, and every minoote would have 100 secoonds.  Hence the day would be a 100 kilosecoonds long. 

For those interested in the transition, 1 secoond = 0.864 seconds.  So it's not all that different.

We'd have to get rid of the year.  We'd use the yoor = 1 kiloday 2.73785079 years.  Birthdays would be rarer.   We'd all be younger!


Caleb Emmons, PhD
Journal of Universal Rejection

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Boycott of Elsevier

Missive from the Editor-in-Chief:

There has been much discussion and support for the unfolding boycott of Elsevier journals ignited by mathematician Tim Gowers in this blog post and discussed in this Chronicle article.  Over 2000 academics have signd the pledge here to not to publish in, or otherwise support, Elsevier journals.

I, however, must throw my support on the side of Elsevier.

Indeed, I vow to never publish in the Journal of Universal Rejection any work by signatories of said pledge!  So think twice before signing. 

Here are some reasons:

* Many people claim Elsevier bundles unneeded journals in order to charge outrageous prices for necessary journals.  This is not the case.  Indeed it's a bit early to mention this, but we may be deep in negotiations to add the Journal of Universal Rejection to every bundle offered by Elsevier.  That would be neato.

* Some claim Elsevier's prices are too high.  Well, as an Elsevier spokesperson said, they did raise prices too much in the '80s.  But she sounded really regretful.  So I'm going to assume the prices'll come down.  More importantly, if you calculated the price per article accessed, Elsevier's ratio comes out much(!) lower than JofUR's!  What, are people going to boycott us next?  Where does it end?

* A few claim "open access" journals are the way to go.  Well, nope. Where would we be if JofUR were open access?  No one at all would subscribe!

* True, Elsevier supports SOPA/PIPA.  Well, this is a bit harder, given that JofUR came out against SOPA.  But we didn't menion that we do support PIPA.  It's a very nuanced position.

* Finally, as one about to enter the job market, I don't want to anger any potential employer.   As they say, don't hand feed bits of oat to a horse that won't drink the water that you've led it to, though it can only cross once, never being the same river twice bitten once shy.