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(Website Addition of March 27, 2005)
The Pharisees and the Scribes have taken the keys to knowledge
and have hidden them. They do not go in, and they do not permit
those desiring to go in to enter.
(According to the Gospel of Thomas)
Second version of above:
Woe to the Pharisees.
Like a dog dozing in a food trough for cattle,
they neither exit nor do they let the cattle eat.
Highlighted in an issue of a certain magazine was the following:
[Magazine name] solicits your manuscripts dealing with: Experimental results in cold fusion (LENR) and new energy, theoretical ideas, contemporary and historical opinions, historical articles, short articles on conventional energy or alternative energy, and book reviews: contact [name and title].
This publication had just acquired some new technical editors who claimed to be competent and objective. I spoke with the managing editor who asked me to go ahead and submit a manuscript which should be of a length sufficient to cover the subject adequately and to be interestingly written in language that is easily understood. I was also told that a new editorial practice had been instituted which required the reviewer who rejected a manuscript to explain his reasons for the rejection - which would be forwarded to the author. In my experience, other magazines give no feedback except a computer generated rejection.
This particular magazine was supposed to be without bias toward new theories. However, under the old technical editor, I had not found this to be the case. It seems that those who claim to be against the idea of prejudice and dogma in science are fully as prejudiced and dogmatic as the contemporary scientists. However, the dissenters have different prejudices based upon different dogma.
In the past, I have had numerous favorable reviews from actual peers - predominantly engineers with a few physicists, physics majors, and math majors. Based upon the possibility that the new reviewer might be more objective than the last, I submitted an article with a cover letter.
After a period of time, I received a letter of rejection.
Cover Letter - Article - Rejection
In analyzing the rejection, this is what I found.
I chose not to re-submit the article with the changes necessary to have it published because it was evident that the reviewer was either (1) unable to read, (2) unable to understand algebra, (3) too hostile toward the concept presented to allow it to be published, or (4) imbued with an even more reprehensible motive.
The necessary changes, were the article to be accepted, would dilute the argument to the point of absurdity. Presenting it here as my wife suggested will allow a slightly different view for reader's of this website, and more readers will be able to see it than would have been the case in a magazine with a very limited readership.
Best of all, the article and its rejection can serve as an example of what many of us have been explaining all along about peer reviews and publications in the United States.
One can argue that the reviewers are swamped with manuscripts and unable to take the time to look at the actual theory presented. Perhaps this is true. If so, why are they reviewing the articles presented? Any person who can examine the format presented would be qualified to do as well. Then all the rejections would be sent just as before, but a lower-paid person could do the work.
Put yourself the place of an author. He or she spends many hours of valuable time jumping through the hoops necessary to submit a theory. Then a harried, stupid, or hostile reviewer who is not even remotely qualified bounces the article. This is no incentive for new ideas to be forthcoming, and this is only one aspect of the problem.
Enough said. We should be thankful for the internet. May it remain as free as possible and may we maintain our sense of humor in regard to the clowns called peer reviewers.
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