Carta de rechazo a carta de rechazo

Lo más temido a la hora de enviar un artículo a una revista científica para su publicación es que venga devuelto, con una carta de rechazo cortés pero contundente. Tienen un lenguaje peculiar y característico: “siento informarle…”, “en las presentes circunstancias no podemos aceptar su manuscrito…”, “nuestros altos estándares..”, “temo que su artículo no encaja en nuestra revista..”, “en caso de que estuviera dispuesto a enviar otro manuscrito…”, etc.

Pues bien, con un rasgo de humor, alguien (siento no poder citar la autoría, quizá temiera la furia de los editores) usó el mismo estilo de lenguaje para rechazar la carta de rechazo. Aquí va:

Dr. Gens Bankonit, Editor

“Private Culture”

A1 Snob Boulevard

Elite University

Amherst, MA 02134

Dear Dr. Bankonit,

I regret to inform you that I cannot accept your rejection of my article at this time. As someone struggling to publish in a very competitive field, I have high standards for accepting journal refusals. While your letter certainly has merit, and may in fact apply to some other submission to your journal, it does not meet my needs as a junior faculty member.

Even if you were to make serious changes to your letter, I am afraid your letter would not suit my needs. Junior faculty have a history of wanting to refuse letters like yours, but are forced to accept them due to limited numbers of letters like them in their repertoire. Unfortunately, I have a surfeit of letters like yours and cannot justify accepting yours as so many others would. With an acceptance rate of letters of rejection nearing .5%, I am very selective about what letters I do indeed accept, as I am sure you can understand.

Should you be willing to send another letter, say one that is more accepting, more open, and more encouraging to publication, I would seriously reconsider my present rejection of your letter and may opt in your favor in the future. Friends of mine who read your letter gave mixed reviews of it. One friend said, “I cannot believe he wrote this letter to you.” While another wrote, “This makes sense. They just want to publish senior white male faculty members.” Given the mixed reactions by my friends and my own negative assessment of your letter’s content, I would be remiss to accept a letter like yours in its present state.

Perhaps you might find a suitable venue for such a letter in a department of Philosophy at a prestigious institution, where faculty members are invited to publish in selectively reviewed journals. Or perhaps you could send your letter to someone in a large department whose faculty have a high rate of publication. Given your overexperience at sending such a letter to junior faculty members, it only makes sense to strive to send your letter to a less rigorous group of scholars, such as those who get published all the time.

Finally, while your letter was certainly readable, you might want to write your letter in a way that addresses more perceptively the audience you intend to affect with your words. For instance, if you are trying to show administrators or senior faculty members just how selective you are, perhaps you should not be directing your attacks by letter to junior faculty members but rather to the system that perpetuates the lack of quality in thinking at higher levels of education. Additionally, rather than using a blind review process, which excludes only junior faculty from the process, perhaps you should make reviewers state their names, professions, and reasons for refusal.

Should your letter respond to any of the suggestions I have made in my letter, I would certainly consider accepting your rejection letter. Please do not hesitate to send another rejection letter more like the one I have been describing (i.e., more like an acceptance). Should your letter begin to address my concerns, I could only hope to be more gracious in my acceptance of your rejection of me.

Best of luck in rejecting future papers.

Sincerely,

Faculty Member, Jr.

Autor: José R. Alonso

Neurobiólogo. Catedrático de la Universidad de Salamanca. Escritor.

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