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Hateful reviewers October 25, 2009

Posted by CK in Funny, Research.
Tags: , , , ,

Sometimes, you submit a paper to a conference, and you know the chances are somewhat slim based on usual acceptance rates. So you are familiarized with the idea that your paper will be rejected, but don’t quite expect what happens then. You get your 4 reviews, and one reviewer is very happy with your paper. You get a 9/10 overall. Then the other two are posing some reasonable questions, but still they both give you a 7/10 overall. And then, then comes one who basically provides all kinds of completely useless, stupid, unjustified, plain wrong comments, and gives you a 2/10 — even on paper organization, that the others all marked with an almost perfect grade. Now I have a few ways to interpret this behavior, none of which can be elaborated without becoming too explicit. I mean, this just shows hate. If it wasn’t a blind review, I would seriously think it was personal. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had papers rejected before, and I’m perfectly ok with that, when it comes with justified comments and useful advice. But when it happens without those, it’s just bothering me.

I hate hateful reviewers, and some times, I just hate my luck (or lack of luck, thereof).



1. adamo - October 25, 2009

Just because it is a blind review, it does not mean that the author of a paper cannot be guessed. By now you should have been used to irrational (or plainly evil) behavior from people who serve a profession founded on Logic.

And by the way: It may well be the case that this one reviewer may have been the right one. Once, our supervisor tested three of us by handing us a paper and asking for a review. Each of us dug a deep grave for it and for different reasons, only to learn that it had been awarded a best paper award…

This may not be the case this time, but it may well be another.

(BTW, send me the paper)

2. Kostas P. - October 26, 2009

Sometimes editors end up with way too many good papers and need to find a way to do away with some of them. Don’t worry though, this also works the other way around, so yes it’s a lot about luck.

(btw if it’s on SLA management I’m interested too)

3. CK - October 26, 2009

@adamo: But then we can apply recursion, and assume that the three of you were right, and the committee which awarded “best paper” to that one was wrong 🙂 Seriously though, like I said, I’m mostly bothered when the comments are useless. If I get good comments, like it has been the case before, I don’t really mind a rejection. It’s part of the game.

@Kostas P.: Sure, this has also happened to me before. I had submitted to a journal, saw status “reviewed” on the submission site at some point, then after a few days it was “under review” again. And when the reviews came, the last one was so unprofessional, harsh, plain insulting, that I can only assume it was on purpose to burry the paper.

I’ll update the paper with some more recent results and send it to both since you’re interested — it’s about SLA management indeed.

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