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Deus Ex Machina (Editorial lies, Chapter 2) - Printable Version

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Deus Ex Machina (Editorial lies, Chapter 2) - Duxide - 2014-May-12

I have submitted my article to Anthropological Science (yes I am evil and I was attempting double publication), because they had published a paper of mine that was good but far less rigorous than the one in question. Surprisingly, I get a concise rejection letter(reported below) stating that my paper has no hypothesis stated, no rationale, no purpose. Now,this paper has been read by many people and reviewed by 3 for this journal, and none has ever raised this criticism. So it's Editor against 4 reviewers + myself. I personally think that the editor's comment is utterly meaningless and is just an excuse not to publish a paper on a controversial topic.
This teaches us a lesson: Editors can be evil. They have full discretionary power, which means that their authority is unquestionable and their decisions are unappealable even on rational grounds. This is favoured by the fact that the editor's decision is communicated via private email, which is usually not subject to public scrutiny (unless an evil character like me decides to publish it on the internet). This makes them feel "secure" and leads them to abuse their power. They can say the silliest things that are blatantly contradicted by reality, expressing them in a formal language that hides their pompous idiocy.
They act as gatekeepers and they want people to believe that science is a transparent process,and that reviewers are solely responsible for a paper's fate of rejection or publication. Most people believe this and forget the presence of this deus-ex-machina, which can veto publication at the first (submission) and the last stage of the review process. At least reviewers can be engaged in a debate, but this is not possible with the editor, who always holds the final word. He is a like judge that pretends to be aided by a jury or a body of laws, but instead uses only his limbic brain or his academic instincts of self preservation when assessing the quality of a submission.
OpenPsych does away with the Deus ex machina, because the papers do not have to go through an editor before they are submitted to the journals. Let's leave the Deus ex machina to Greek tragedies and Elsevier or PlosOne. I will stick with Aristotle, who argued that the resolution of a story's plot should come about as a result of the plot itself and not from a contrivance (i.e. deus ex machina). For "a contrivance must be used for matters outside the drama- for we grant that the Gods can see everything".


Ref.: Ms. No. AS-D-14-00020
Opposite selective pressures on stature and intelligence across populations
Anthropological Science

Dear Piffer,

Thank you for your interest to publish in Anthropological Science.

We have now had the time to look through your manuscript in sufficient detail. We have several basic observations which seriously question the usefulness of this paper. The major problem of this paper is its almost total lack of research design. The purpose, rationale for research, hypothesis and other essential prerequisites of an acceptable paper are never stated.

Yours sincerely,

Masanaru Takai
Editor-in-Chief, AS