Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Different View of Rejection

We’re in San Diego so my husband can attend an editorial meeting for a scientific journal. We met another editor in the lobby of the hotel. This man looks just like Santa Claus, except that he doesn’t always wear red. He’s also smart and funny like I imagine Santa would be. 

We can, perhaps, all agree that many manuscripts are submitted before they’re ready, and part of the job of any editor is to reject submissions.  This morning, Santa told us that at a previous meeting, he was accused of being mean because he’d rejected the largest percentage of submissions of all the editors.

Rejection is difficult for everyone – even Santa.


Wyman Stewart said...

Seems this jolly fellow you met is the infamous Santa Claws; the real Santa's gremlin-like twin. He's always finding fault.

In science sticks and stones may break your bones, from which you will recover. The word "unpublished" will get you terminated. (Peer Review editing is a thankless job. Pays to have a sense of humor.)

On a serious note: It's amazing the amount of criticism many published scientific works receive. The gentleman may be saving hard-working people from mistakes that can haunt a career and prevent advancement. Someone must make those hard calls. I must remember this about rejection: It's rarely personal.

Ann Finkelstein said...

Wyman: The scientific journal must maintain a standard of excellence or it is worthless to its readers. If people submit articles that fail to meet these criteria, it helps no one to publish them.

Kim Van Sickler said...

It's all in your perspective, right?