"The Redneck"

January 5, 2010

BikeMonkey Guest Post
PalMD came up with a reflection on just what bothered him about the recent debacle in which a beloved and bucolic icon who practically defines “Minnesotan” (not to mention upper-Midwesterner) appeared to be an antiSemitic idiot. PalMD was previously a fan of Garrison Keillor and felt included in the folksy community of Prairie Home Companion and Lake Wobegon. Keillor’s blatherings were, from appearances, received as a chest push and door slam accompanied by “Wait, not you Jewboy!”.
This let me crystallize my discomfort with another cultural icon, albeit one considerably less famous than Garrison Keillor.

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A question of interest to me has arisen in another online venue. As most of my readers realize, journals can refuse to publish your manuscript in one of two major ways.
First, of course, is if the manuscript has been sent out to ~2-4 of your scientific peers and they have decided that it is not of sufficient quality for publication in the journal in question.
The second way is that the editor may decide not to send it out for review at all and simply reject it herself.
Which do you prefer? Which hurts less?
When I think about this, I conclude that I’d rather have more than one reviewer and the editor deciding my manuscript is not appropriate for publication. It makes no practical difference, a rejection is a rejection. Sending it out also burns a couple or five weeks that could be spent submitting it elsewhere for consideration and/or improving it. but still…. rejection by editorial fiat just seems like you were refused a fair hearing.
…kinda like when a grant application gets triaged.