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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How To Maximize Your Chances of Rejection

Here's how to have an article rejected.

Have a very skimpy bibliography. Nine items is enough, especially if it is a canonical work with hundreds of articles that might be cited. Don't quote anyone on the editorial board of the journal. People hate to have their work cited. Don't engage in dialogue with the field. You know best.

Submit a 10-page course paper or a 50 page dissertation chapter, unrevised.

Don't bother with a cover letter. The editor will never read it anyway.

Don't follow MLA style; the editor will recognize your brilliance and fix the format for you. Don't bother looking at the guidelines for authors before submitting. That would be a waste of time.

Don't familiarize yourself with the journal beforehand, looking to see what kind of things they like to publish. Journals are pretty much all the same. Submit an article on an obscure writer to a journal that only publishes on the canon.

4 comments:

profacero said...

My latest rejection letter requires deciphering: http://profacero.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/analyze-this/

Clarissa said...

This is a very interesting list that made me question some of the things I do. Now I wonder what makes for a good cover letter to accompany an article.

I was taught to write only the following: "Estimados colegas, adjunto les remito mi articulo titulado X para que sea considerado para la publicacion en su prestigiosa revista."

Is this good enough?

Spanish prof said...

I have the same question as Clarissa's. I've read more than once that you have to write a good cover letter. However, I have no clue of what constitutes one. I usually write something similar to Clarissa. Maybe that could be your next post, how to write a good cover letter when submitting to a peer-review journal.

Jonathan said...

it doesn't have to be elaborate. Clarissa's wording is fine, more or less. It should just be on dept. letterhead and include complete contact information, your current status (e.g. Associate Professor), the title of the article, etc... The only reason I mention a cover letter at all is because my brilliant spouse, who is an editor, said she gets submissions without a cover letter. In one case, there was a name on the article but no return address or contact information! They just had to file away the article and wait to see whether someone inquired about it eventually.