Friday, May 26, 2006


Ack...cough cough. What's all this dust? Mrs. Havisham, is that you? Oh my goat! I haven't posted in over a month. Gonna have to get some lemon scented pledge.

There have been multiple forces keeping me from this little electronic journal. Mainly, a paper rejection that demanded I rewrite the whole thing in two weeks. That was fun. What made it more fun were the incredibly constructive paper reviews that I got. Thank Mary for this scientific community in which my work can be peer reviewed and I can improve as a researcher. Let's take a look at some of the gems I received.

The paper is well-organized, well-written, and derives from a study based on a toy car environment that I would love to have in my basement for my children to play with and program (seems like a good Logo application).

This is wonderful. I had no idea that my work could positively impact the lives of children.

On the other hand, you have your experience, and I have mine. (I still think time and the number of systems I have dealt with -- including telecom systems and aerospace software -- are on my side.)

It is true that I have significantly more experience with people who attack me personally than I do with Boeing 777 software. Unfortunately, when I contacted Boeing about getting a peek at their code, they turned me down. Thankfully, this review has helped me to realize that unless I've built an actual rocket that has flown to space, I shouldn't bother submitting papers. I guess I've got some work to do.

The paper is full of trivialities. The importance for "criticality", "restart" and "migration" look pretty obvious; even my netflix system should have them

I...I...I'm sorry, I can't do it. It's really hard to feign chipper appreciation in the face of this kind of useless, faceless animocity.


Jane said...

I've never, ever understood the need to put down another person's work when reviewing said work. I've received some reviews in the past that were so mean they made me cry. (Thank god for offices with doors!) Maybe we should start requiring civility lessons in grad school.....

Hang in there!

Traveler, not tourist said...

I second Jane. Sometimes there are rejections to further their own agendas. Needless to say there are fashions, prejudices about certain topics...... Don't worry about it, it's part of the job I guess. As much as I hate it, I've kind of realized it's an occupational hazard that we all live with and is not going away any soon.

Jane - Yes, we do need civility lessons in grad school!

Fcsgs - Hope you're feeling better now. God be with you. Good luck.

Female Science Professor said...

I am an editor of a science journal, and I have on a few occasions seen reviews with insulting comments like the ones you posted. In one recent case where a reviewer crossed the line (in my opinion) into rudeness, I asked him to consider rewriting it, strongly hinting that his review would be undermined and possibly discounted if he insisted on keeping those comments in (he apologized and wrote a more civil review that nevertheless still got across his substantive criticisms). That made me feel like such a mom, but really..