I am writing to get your opinion about a nasty review of a recent paper bordering on what I believe to be libel. I am hoping that people will leave their thoughts here on my Blog page so that your comments will be more generally available to anyone on the internet rather than just my friends on Facebook.
After getting this nasty review, I recalled one of my former students complaining about a nasty review he got a couple months back on a paper submitted to a different journal. So, I contacted him and asked him to send me a copy of the report. He gave me permission to reproduce his report here, along with the report to our recent paper. Note that I have deleted all references to the identity of the authors and journals involved.
Here are my questions
1. Do you think that the nasty report crosses the line?
2. Do you think that this reviewer is intentionally trying to sabotage our work and the work of my past students?
3. Do you think that both nasty reviews are by the same reviewer?
4. What course of action should be taken in this case, and in similar cases that come up in the future?
5. Was the editor of our paper within reason to conclude that our paper is "wrong"?
Before proceeding, I'd like to make a couple of comments. Most of the nasty reviewer's comments, though appearing specific, have nothing to do with the contents of our paper. For example, nowhere in our paper do we imply that the perturbation changes anything; we are not discussing molecules but rather quantum wires; and our paper has nothing to do with ionization. Interesting that all the hyperbole mentions no specific examples of how or where we "exaggerate", "misquote", etc. This whole thing is so bizarre! The nasty review reads almost like the Sokal Hoax.
I look forward to getting your comments.
THE REVIEW OF OUR PAPER
NASTY REVIEWER (Reviewer 1)
The authors in the present ms concoct a mixture of the most diverse ingredients to purportedly derive the “ultimate behavior and limits” of the dipolar hyperpolarizabilities. In this process they bend and distort basic procedures in perturbation theory and throw in out-of-context concepts and other spicy statements without the slightest concern for the basics and in fact the ethics. The authors seem completely unaware of basic tenets of perturbation theory and its range of validity (for instance Kato’s theorems) which in particular implies that the external perturbation (the dipole interaction in the present case) does not irreversibly and significantly modify the molecular potential, structure and spectrum. The graph approach , they freely borrow from the existing literature in a cavalier manner, is an attempt to incorporate topological features in the molecular potential and structure and has been tentatively used for the description of the spectrum in particular in the dissociation or ionization limit of the molecules where purportedly the spectrum should exhibit chaotic behavior. In this regime the hyper-polarizability concept however makes no sense and definitely not in the dipolar approximation which in the non-resonant regime is only set up to describe induced reversible modifications. The reference list, quite long, besides a couple of general references and some few ones related to the graph approach in quantum chemistry which are blatantly misquoted and misused, exclusively contains references to members of a closely knitted and self serving group where the present authors belong too.
The content of the present ms is of doubtful validity contains exaggerated and adjustable assumptions and at the very end the drawn conclusions are useless for any purpose in the search of nonlinear optical materials and effects. I do not recommend its acceptance for publication in the xxxxxxxx.
NICE REVIEW (Reviewer 2)
In this paper, the authors has presented a detailed investigation of the nonlinear optical properties of quantum graphs using the star vertex topology. They made a complete and versatile review of quantum graphs, including the computation of the hyperpolarizability tensors for graphs of different geometries, such as stars and barbell, and described the solution for the eigenstate and energy spectrum of the graphs. Then the authors introduce a new method of using motifs, the element graphs that constructs the composite graphs, to solve quantum graph problems. By using this method, star, lollipop and bull could be easily and nicely solved. A set of rules for calculating general graphs have also been provided. Furthermore, the authors discussed the intrinsic limits and scaling properties of different graphs, which are determined by the characteristics of the dominating motifs. They showed that the confinement equations for those motifs provides information of the tunability of the level spacing, which indicates great intrinsic nonlinearities. In addition, the authors provided a detailed analysis of the scaling properties of the graph tensors when they are approaching the optimum geometries for maximum response. Such quantum graph model would be useful for multiple electron dynamics.
In summary, this manuscript is well-organized, clearly-explained, and scientifically rigorous. It contains novel and original ideas that would bring significant influence in the physical society. Therefore, I believe this manuscript merit publication in xxxxxxxxx.
I recommend a rejection. The positive report of reviewer 2 is highly
superficial and could have been written without reading the paper. The
criticism of reviewer 1 is substantial and shows that this work is wrong.
REVIEW OF MY FORMER STUDENT'S PAPER IN ANOTHER JOURNAL
The authors supposedly develop a model for off resonant microscopic
cascading of scalar polarizabilities using a self-consistent field
approach and apply it to purportedly extract their behavior in
mesoscopic thin films and guest-host molecular systems.
The work is of very poor quality and content. The authors, under the
cover of fancy semantics concoct a very disappointing presentation
void of any originality and substance, and formulate vague conclusions
with an utterly complicated and useless formalism.
For the purpose they reprocess self-indulged references of a close
knitted group they belong.
To give some apparent respectability and credence to their approach
the authors included here and there some basic references (refs 11,
21-25) which however are unrelated to the issues supposedly addressed
in the ms and in fact are misquoted and mistreated as the present work
transpires a profound confusion regarding local field corrections and
depolarization field, a disturbing ignorance of cage and boundary
effects to say nothing about the supposed self consistency of their
approach and the inclusion of the cascading processes. Indeed the
authors distort and disregard in a very cavalier manner more
appropriate references which is useless to point out here and in fact
would’t be of any service to their authors.
The discussion is also ill constructed with unsubstantiated general
statements here and there and “narrow” remarks laid side by side
without serving any particular purpose and connection other than
filling the vacuity of the present work.
On the basis of the above remarks I do not recommend the acceptance of
the present ms for publication in the xxxxxxxx.