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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Do You Know Who I Am?

I've received some invitations to be a referee in my email recently. "Hey, we're starting a new on-line journal, if you want to submit articles or be a referee for us... If you want to be a referee, send us your cv."

My reaction, always, is to delete the message. Why? I have enough peer-reviewing to do already. I can publish, myself, in better journals. Being a member of an editorial board or being asked to referee a certain article in my speciality is fine, but I don't need to send you my cv to referee for you! I am an established, senior scholar in my field at an R1 institution and if you are contacting me at all to do peer reviews you should know who I am.*

The journal in question who most recently contacted me requires that their referees simply have a PhD and be college faculty. (Any idiot can get a PhD.) There is no effort to get the most qualified referees, merely a mass email sent, I presume, to many, many people. This particular journal did not seem to be scam or one that required a submission fee. That is all the more unfortunate. If someone is starting a legit journal, they should contact distinguished scholars for the editorial board, not a random group of no-name referees.

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*"Do you know who I am?" is always an assholic thing to say. I apologize for sounding like an asshole in this post. Even if you feel the urge to say that, don't say it. Ever, Even if the person who's irritated you deserves this response, you will still be more of an asshole than that person, who is simply dumb, rude, or ignorant, but is not the arrogant jerk that you are.

6 comments:

profacero said...

3 such requests this week and the journals are from places I never heard of. Some in dept. are saying we should join these boards, as people in STEM will never know they're not "real".

Jonathan said...

One came from a very heavy-weight academic publisher too. I was a bit surprised by that.

Bob Basil said...

Oh, man -- this made me laugh out loud -- thank you! [Earlier post deleted because of a missing word ...]

Andrew Shields said...

My Dad was once introduced to Carl Sagan. This was in the fall of 78 when Cosmos was all the rage, but my Dad hadn't heard of it or him. And Sagan actually said, "Haven't you heard of me?" So my Dad said, "No, haven't you heard of me?"

Clarissa said...

I don't think this is an ass-hole thing to say at all, to be honest. You worked hard to get where you are, so you deserve to be recognized for that.

I often feel the same way when people email me to write posts extolling online PhDs for $40. :-)

Jonathan said...

Thinking it is one thing, saying it is another. If someone in my own field does not know who I am, I think the person is rather clueless, but I would never say "Don't you know who I am?"