Content Last updated: 2009
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Rejecta Mathematica?
Is this some kind of joke?
But weren''t those papers rejected for a reason?
So why publish them?
What role do the open letters play?
What are the editorial policies?
If there is no peer review, then what about quality control?
Will you publish anything?
Why should I read Rejecta Mathematica?
What does "open access" mean?
I don''t understand your logo? What is it?
Why is your slogan "Caveat Emptor" when your journal is open access and I didn't have to buy anything. Shouldn''t it be "Caveat Lector"?
Can I cite a paper in Rejecta Mathematica?
Publishing with Rejecta Mathematica
Why should I submit a paper to Rejecta Mathematica?
What is the scope of Rejecta Mathematica? Is my paper appropriate?
What about conference papers?
How do I submit a paper to Rejecta Mathematica?
Do I need to revise my rejected paper before submitting to Rejecta Mathematica?
What can I say in my open letter?
My paper got rejected from Rejecta Mathematica. I''m not sure how to feel about that.
How can I comment on a paper that has been published in Rejecta Mathematica?
Are there any author charges to publish in Rejecta Mathematica?
If my paper gets accepted to Rejecta Mathematica, can I list it on my CV?
- What is Rejecta Mathematica?
- Rejecta Mathematica is an open access online journal that publishes only papers that have been rejected from peer-reviewed journals in the mathematical sciences.
- Is this some kind of joke?
- No, Rejecta Mathematica is real.
- But weren''t those papers rejected for a reason?
- Quite probably, yes.
- So why publish them?
- We believe that many previously rejected papers (even those rejected for legitimate reasons) can nonetheless have legitimate value to the academic community. This value may take many forms:
- "mapping the blind alleys of science": papers containing negative results can warn others against futile directions;
- "reinventing the wheel": papers accidentally rederiving a known result may contain new insight or ideas;
- "squaring the circle": papers discovered to contain a serious technical flaw may nevertheless contain information or ideas of interest;
- "applications of cold fusion": papers based on a controversial premise may contain ideas applicable in more traditional settings;
- "misunderstood genius": other papers may simply have no natural home among existing journals.
- What role do the open letters play?
- We actually view the open letters as being at least as important as the technical content in a research article. The open letter is where the author can not only tell the back story of the paper (e.g., where was it submitted, why was it rejected, etc.) but also convey a lesson learned so that others can benefit from the rejection. That lesson might be as general as "double check your papers to make sure you aren''t proving the opposite of your stated result" or as specific as describing the results of using a proof technique on a given problem. In addition to being educational for the community, we also agree with this author that a candid discussion of rejection will "add spice to the article, since confession of failure, or even of sin, is always interesting".
- What are the editorial policies?
- The screening process for publication in Rejecta Mathematica includes no technical peer review (hence the slogan Caveat Emptor). Rather, papers are "peer skimmed". We rely on the technical review provided by the journal from which the paper was originally rejected and instead focus on selecting papers based on their apparent potential interest to researchers in the mathematical sciences. The editors may consult with experts in a specific field on a case-by-case basis to determine the interest of a particular topic to the mathematical community.Due to the unique format of this journal, the editors reserve the right to accept/reject papers on the basis of several nontraditional and loosely defined criteria. Due to the lack of a formal review process, the authors may not expect to receive any specific feedback or criticism of their paper.
- If there is no peer review, then what about quality control?
- Each paper published in Rejecta Mathematica includes an open letter from the authors discussing the original review process for their paper and stating the case for the paper''s value to the community. We fully expect that many of these papers will contain flaws and/or technical mistakes (they were rejected, after all). In the open letter, it is expected that the authors will discuss any known flaws in their paper with full and honest disclosure.As an additional means of quality control, correspondences responding to articles published in Rejecta Mathemaitca are encouraged from the community at-large and will be considered for subsequent publication.
- Will you publish anything?
- No, we select papers based on several loosely defined criteria. In short, we aim to publish a variety of interesting papers that allow some opportunity for learning. Specifically, we do not see much value to the community in papers that were rejected solely based on their incomprehensibility. While we do not anticipate accepting such papers, we would encourage any interested party in starting the Journal of Impenetrable Results to give them a home.
- Why should I read Rejecta Mathematica?
- Rejecta Mathematica is a unique social and academic experiment, and the papers we publish will be interesting for a wide variety of (often nontraditional) reasons.Authors publishing in Rejecta Mathematica are doing so while publicly admitting the previous (rejected) history of their paper. While this is not always a guarantee of high quality, it does indicate a great deal of pride or self-confidence in their own work and their commitment to helping the wider academic community.Additionally, the open letters will provide a unique and candid reflection upon the traditional peer review process.
- What does "open access" mean?
- All papers appearing in Rejecta Mathematica are made freely and publicly available via this website for users to download, read, distribute and modify (assuming proper attribution).Papers are published in Rejecta Mathematica under a Creative Commons license that allows the authors to retain ownership of the copyright of their work. Read more about Rejecta Mathematica copyright policies.
- I don''t understand your logo? What is it?
- Yeah, you''re not the only one. Our logo is a variation on the mathematical symbol for "not a member of the set". It depicts the reality that the papers published in Rejecta Mathematica typically cannot find a home in traditional peer-reviewed journals and are therefore perceived to be of little value in the research culture.
- Why is your slogan "Caveat Emptor" when your journal is open access and I didn''t have to buy anything. Shouldn''t it be "Caveat Lector"?
- That''s very astute. We actually considered "Caveat Lector" originally, but when we took a straw poll too many people found it confusing. Since "Caveat Emptor" gets the main point across (despite not being technically correct) and seems to be more readily understood, we decide to avoid the highbrow latin humor and adopt it.Other slogans given (very brief) consideration were:Audi alteram partemTu ne cede malis sed contra audentior itoExperientia docet stultosMelius tarde, quam nunquam
- Can I cite a paper in Rejecta Mathematica?
- Please do! Our current impact factor is 0. While we do not believe that impact factor is a comprehensive measure of value to the academic community, we would be thrilled to hear about research contributions that come from Rejecta Mathematica papers. Please contact the editors to let us know about such "success stories".
Publishing with Rejecta Mathematica
- Why should I submit a paper to Rejecta Mathematica?
- Publishing in Rejecta Mathematica gives you a new chance to shed fresh light on your work. If you feel the original review process was unfair or misguided, the open letter is your chance to speak up in your own defense. If, instead, you feel that despite its flaws your work may be interesting or educational to the community for some nontraditional reason, we give you a forum to advertise your work.Submitting a paper to Rejecta Mathematica is also very simple (in many cases you need make little or no changes to the original rejected manuscript). In addition, you retain complete copyright control of your work and are free to publish it elsewhere (including your own website). In fact, we would be thrilled to see it graduate to a more traditional journal, and after publishing in Rejecta Mathematica, you might receive the feedback to help you do just that.
- What is the scope of Rejecta Mathematica? Is my paper appropriate?
- The scope of Rejecta Mathematica is very broad, encompassing all disciplines relating to the mathematical sciences, including: pure and applied mathematics, statistics, engineering, and computer science. If you have questions about whether your paper is appropriate, please email the editors.Rejecta Mathematica places no conditions on the original reasons for a paper''s rejection; all papers that can be legally published will be considered.
- What about conference papers?
- Generally no, but we realize that for some fields (like computer science) conference proceedings can be the typical publication venue. We will be happy to consider conference papers where the peer review process is comparably rigorous to a typical academic journal. We''ll make decisions on this issue on a case-by-case basis. Contact us if you want to know about a particular venue.
- How do I submit a paper to Rejecta Mathematica?
- Please see the author guidelines.
- Do I need to revise my rejected paper before submitting to Rejecta Mathematica?
- No, this is optional.
- What can I say in my open letter?
- As an author, you are generally expected to address two main points in your open letter:
- Discuss the original review process, including the apparent reason for the paper''s rejection.
- State the case (in spite of the rejection) for the paper''s value to the mathematical community.
- any known errors in the paper (or accidental rederivations of earlier work)
- any changes you have made since the paper was previously rejected (though making such changes is not required)
- My paper got rejected from Rejecta Mathematica. I''m not sure how to feel about that.
- Perhaps you should feel honored.
- How can I comment on a paper that has been published in Rejecta Mathematica?
- As an additional means of quality control for published papers, follow-up correspondences are encouraged from the community at-large and will be considered for subsequent publication. Please see the instructions for submitting correspondences.
- Are there any author charges to publish in Rejecta Mathematica?
- No. We aim to make Rejecta Mathematica as accessible as possible to both authors and readers. All material is accepted, published and distributed without any mandatory fees. Instead, Rejecta Mathematica is supported by donations and the sale of merchandise.In this same vein, we also do not impose any strict page limits or format specifications. That being said, we do expect papers will be of a normal and readable length - please do not submit a rejected thesis.
- If my paper gets accepted to Rejecta Mathematica, can I list it on my CV?
- Sure. However, we offer no guarantees that this courageous display will improve the standing of your CV in the eyes of those reading it.