Sunday, May 13, 2012

Refusing to Review Revisions and Other Musings

Haven't posted in a while because life is about as boring as it can be right now with regards to my career. Classes are finished up. The group is chugging along. Papers are slowly being written. Grant proposals are being written very quickly. The monotony of work as taken hold of me. Took just under 2 years. So this is what my life will be like, assuming I make tenure, until sometime close to death. Yeah, things are different each day at the microscopic level (new committees, new results, disgruntled students, etc.), but the big picture doesn't change unless I decide at some point to jump ship or move up the administrative ladder. So here is a glimpse into todays activities.

What is the etiquette on reviewing revisions? A journal I was reviewing for recently had an explicit question asking if I would be willing to review a revised version of the paper. the question comes right after the recommendation question. In this particular case, I rejected the paper. There was nothing wrong with the paper, it was just very lame work and it had been submitted to one of the top journals in the field. I've always said yes in the past to the question of reviewing a revision, because I'm a good little TT citizen. In this case though, no amount of fixing would make it not lame, and if the devices were used to do an interesting study, it would no longer be the same paper. So I said no. I don't want to give this group hope that this work will be published in this particular journal. I am not against though reading a new version of the paper. Since I always over analyzing everything, now I'm wondering what the underlying meaning is for this question on the review and if it has any special implications for the authors.

Related to this, what is the difference between 'accept with major revisions' and 'reject and resubmit'? Both options are available, along with accept, accept with minor revisions, just reject, and reject but submit to a different journal. This is how I spent my Saturday night.