Saturday, January 4, 2014

Thanking the editor for rejecting our paper

Here is an email that I sent to an editor who rejected our paper.  The names have been changed to hide the identity of the journal and editor.  I probably should not have removed the names because the "lord almighty protects the innocent as a matter of daily routine" - from, The Sirens of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter to you directly, and not through the editorial office, to commend you on your work as editor of Journal X.   I know that this is a tough job and papers such as the one my colleague Prof. Awesome submitted to you take lots of time and effort to adjudicate; and, are emotionally taxing, taking us away from what we love - doing Physics.

I just wanted to let you know that although you rejected our paper, I believe that you did so for all the right reasons, balancing the requirements of the journal with the input you got from the referees.  We understand that our work overlaps a little bit with lots of areas, making it too mathematically complex for quantum chemists, has applications in nonlinear optics which graph people do not appreciate, and deals with abstract objects that main-stream nonlinear opticians know nothing about.  Though we believe that the work is significant, the field needs to develop for there to be a critical mass of researchers that can appreciate the topic.  As such, I agree with your assessment that though the paper may be correct, it will probably go unnoticed for many years.

Again, we appreciate your efforts and the thoughtful manner in which you approached our paper.  I hope that our paths will someday cross and wish you all the best for the new year.


Mark G. Kuzyk
Regents Professor of Physics,
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-2814

Phone: 509-335-4672
Fax: 509-335-7816

Web Page:

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