An open letter to journal reviewers


This time I’m not going to write about video games, not even sociology (at least not in a specific sense). I’m in angry sociologist mode and I would like to address my complains to all those journal reviewers/referees out there, including myself. You know, those people who, taking advantage of the blind review process — let me hold my laughter for a moment, become the jury, judge and — if it comes to that — executioner of your paper. It’s going to be brief and I’ll keep it simple. Here I go:

  • Journals usually don’t let you submit articles containing more than 8000 words (some ask you for less, others might let you add a few more words). Keep that in mind when you are reviewing the text: it’s an article, not a fucking PhD!
  • Remember that you are discussing the content of the article, not the works of the people who are cited in it. If you have a problem with them, go and tell them directly, don’t use me as a scapegoat!
  • Suggest whatever you want to suggest but don’t fucking patronise me. I’m a doctor! And if I weren’t one, well, I wouldn’t like to be patronised either!
  • Reviews are intended for evaluation purposes, it’s not an excuse to show the world how much you know about the subject. Look for your own damn audiences!
  • The amount of articles published in high impact factor journals that are cited in the paper is NOT indicative of its quality. It’s NOT that simple!
  • Don’t you like the article? That’s fair. Can you just reject the article politely and provide academic reasons that are exclusively related to the article? Even if you think the text is complete rubbish, you don’t need to behave as a pretentious plonker. If not nice, be at least professional!

The rant stops here. Only temporarily. One last thing: if after reading this, you keep playing the idiotic reviewer role, here’s what I have for you, courtesy of Phil Fish:

Originally published at the3headedmonkey.blogspot.com.