Monday, 8 October 2012

Turnabout Is Fair Play

One of my academic friends found herself on the shitty end of a terrible reviewer and their terrible review today, a slating of her work based on a fundamental misconception which could quickly have been resolved had the reviewer read the paper itself, rather than presumably burning it unopened and judging the smell of the smoke.

Indeed, their objections manage to be even more stupid than the last review I got, which contained the fabulous line "The authors must ensure they understand that they have not demonstrated clinical relevance.  In their defense, the authors do not claim they have."  That in turn was the most ridiculous thing any reviewer has said to me since I had a 36-page paper packed with horribly fiddly set theory rejected due to "insufficient mathematics."

In short, it's become very clear to me that we need to start reviewing reviewers.

And not with one of those milquetoast "Rate your experience out of five" surveys; we should be allowed to get proper digs in:
"We recommend this reviewer be rejected on the grounds they have neither the wit to grasp our work nor the honesty to admittheir failings.

The journal should feel free to resubmit this reviewer for consideration following extensive changes to their outlook, knowledge base, reading age, and sense of basic professionalism, but we cannot guarantee that this will lead to a change in stance. What if they're still a prick?"
Your move, peer-review process...

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