Monday, July 18, 2011

Annoyance By Proxy

Dr. S's boss, as I have mentioned before, is a mildly psychotic tinpot tyrant. 

They are trying to get a paper published.  They submitted it; the rejection came back today.  They agreed to consider their options for a day.  Dr. S and I talked about it; he would have to do a lot of reformatting, but he wants to submit it to Appropriate Respected Journal, one of whose editors has already told him, in person, at a conference, that they would be very interested.  He went downstairs to email his boss and try to boot her into action (her turnaround time for editing papers is eight months because she is insane; normal people do this in two to four weeks).

She had ALREADY submitted it to Third Tier Completely Inappropriate Journal- without Dr. S's consent.  If it is published in TTCIJ, his job-application prospects go down by an order of magnitude.  Also, it's a journal full of unicycle-repair diagrams, and this paper is about how to grow orange trees in cold climates: completely inappropriate.  He's upset, I'm upset, and I don't see any way this is going to end well.  He can and will withdraw the submission, but then it needs to go somewhere else, and will she take another eight months just for spite?  Probably. 

And people ask me why I don't miss academic science. 


  1. can i assume that when it's resubmitted, she'll take first author? that's how it worked in the academic-science household where i grew up. #whyididnotgotomedschool

  2. No, she can't take first author; in biology that's always the person who did the actual work. In any event, science journals require all authors to sign a form saying they consent to publication.

  3. Ouch. I'm sorry for all the hassle Dr. S has to deal with.
    Also, I've certainly seen cases where the first author was not the person who did [most of] the actual work, but someone else from the lab that "needed it". Sigh.


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