New plan for angry authors

Two years after your paper is published in Journal of SocietyB send the citation report showing that it quadrupled the JIF of the JournalA that rejected it to the rejecting Editor. 

Let's make this a thing, people. 

25 responses so far

  • Namesaste_Ish says:

    I thought ranting on Twitter was the new plan for angry authors. Did I miss a memo?

  • drugmonkey says:

    This is the new, new plan.

  • Juniorprof says:

    sending emails now

  • Morgan Price says:

    Has anyone tried this with rejected grant proposals? (This is assuming that the proposed and infeasible/boring work happened anyway and turned into a nice paper a few years later.)

  • MoBio says:

    @Morgan Price: I think the ultimate reply was by Kobilka (I'm told) who mentioned all the difficulty he had getting funded during his Nobel Prize speech (including the loss of HHMI funding) because 'crystalizing GPCRs was impossible'....there's more granularity to this but I think he let everyone know that the current system is [add your reply here]

  • Noncoding Arenay says:

    20/20 hindsight is always a ____!

  • drugmonkey says:

    MP- oh yes. I've heard tales from reviewers who received copies of Science mag issues from disgruntled prior grant applicants.

  • AcademicLurker says:

    @MoBio: I've seen several people during award acceptance speeches rant about the fools who wouldn't fund the work they were being awarded for.

    Can't quite beat doing that while accepting the Nobel Prize, though.

  • Namesaste_Ish says:

    We should elect someone who is super pissed about their grant situation to head an organization. Like ASBMB or something!

  • Mikka says:

    Absolutely, let's keep acting like the impact factor of a journal is a good predictor of the impact factor of the papers it publishes. That makes evaluating CVs so much easier. And this practice hasn't caused any problems or perverted incentives that have turned biological science publishing into a farce, nosiree.

  • Masked Avenger says:

    ediors and reviewers remember names. take the high road. if you don't, well, at least make sure that you publish in a higher IF journal. A Science editor won't be so impressed with your publication in BBRC.

  • toto says:

    Difficulty: if a single paper can quadruple a journal's IF, chances are nobody ever heard of said journal.

    "Dear Author. Thank you for informing us about the recent fortunes of the Patagonian Journal of Veterinarian Folklore, and your important contribution thereto. We wish you good luck in your future interactions with sub-dump fuckshitte journals that my mom wouldn't be caught dead sending her Harry Potter slashfic to.

    Yours truly,
    Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Real Sciency Stuff For Real Scientists Who Do Real Science"

  • dsks says:

    "Two years after your paper is published in Journal of SocietyB send the citation report showing that it quadrupled the JIF of the JournalA that rejected it to the rejecting Editor."

    Part of this might be because the paper you submitted to SocB was a more thorough and substantive description of the study. Whereas the one you sent to the "higher impact" Journal A may well have been the flimsy tabloid version with less meat than a chicken mcnugget.

  • Davis Sharp says:

    FFS. Grow up and learn to deal with rejection. Yo don't have to go all "Pretty Woman" on journals and study sections.

  • Davis Sharp says:

    RE: Kobilka MoBio April 23, 2015 at 11:52 am).
    Kobilika was an HHMI fellow from 1987-2003. He's been funded continuously by NIH from 1991-present, except for a one year gap in 1996. So if he did say what you say someone told you he said, it doesn't much sense because he never lacked funds for his lab. If a particular grant application on GPCR xtallization was not funded, surely he used other money.

  • Jim Woodgett says:

    Because we all know that the paper you published 2 years ago is of the same or lower quality and potential interest as the manuscript you are submitting today. Why not quote your h-index in the cover letter and drop the mic?

  • drugmonkey says:

    JW- I mean the editor that rejected that specific paper before you got it accepted lower down.

    Toto- even some CNS papers easily get 120 cites, no?

  • Khat says:

    I agree with Masked Avenger's view, and to take the high road. One can still get personal satisfaction from the process: In 2008 we had a manuscript that was rejected by a well-known society journal. We immediately shortened it and published it in PNAS. By Google scholar it's been cited >300 times since 2008. It was satisfying to turn down an offer last year to serve on that society journal's editorial board.

  • MoBio says:

    @ Davis Sharp: note the lack of funding in 2006 and the loss of HHMI in 2003.

    Clearly if he had no NIH funds in 2006 and no HHMI he 'had no $$' for his lab.

  • jmz4gtu says:

    @Toto, he means beating their impact factor (in terms of citations) by a factor of 4 or more. (e.g. 2 year JIF=10, paper gets 40 cites in two years). Since JIF is calculated based on the average number of citations per article, this shows that mathematically speaking, they should have accepted it.

    Of course, this is does more to illustrate how flawed JIF is as a metric than to vindicate your paper, but it is satisfying throwing the editors' own metric in their faces.

    "Whereas the one you sent to the "higher impact" Journal A may well have been the flimsy tabloid version with less meat than a chicken mcnugget."
    -My experience is that you end up having to dump every bit of data you have into the CNS journals. They're not usually flimsy unless they're really flashy.

  • @Neitsabes72 says:

    See this.... MISTAKENLY!

    "If your paper was mistakenly rejected by other leading journals, you may submit it to Oncotarget (see our policy) together with peer-reviews obtained from the other journal and rebuttal letter."

  • Namesaste_Ish says:

    Once I get tenure/My lab super endowed for life/Pay off Noah G at Nature....

    I will put together a 'real' copy of my CV with rejected grants, where papers were submitted before they were eventually published and citations of the people who held my submissions in their editorial bins while publishing their own work on the same topic.

    I'm coming for you Dr Squirrely NAS Member! You will rue the day! Did I spell rue right?

  • Philapodia says:

    The whole concept of JIF pisses me off. It sets up false competition between labs who should be focusing on producing good solid science rather than getting into the highest profile journal they can and incentivizes publishing crap one-off experiments. If it's useful information and done well, people will find it and use it no matter what journal it is in, you know, because of the internet. It may of made a difference when people bought journals themselves (back in the stone ages), but now you can find ways of getting articles from any journal you want within about 30 minutes.

  • Davis Sharp says:

    What are you talking about MoBio? He had over $800K (total costs) in NIH$ for FY2006.

  • Busy says:


    Indeed, the obsession with JIF seems to be a biological sciences thing. In math/cs/physics circles people care about prestige journals as much as anyone else but I never heard a single person ever mention the JIF of Annals of Mathematics as the reason to publish there.

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