Announcing “Rejection Watch”.

Update: As the series continues, I’ll update this page to include links to each entry (or you can click on the Rejection Watch category to the left to see them).  So, take a look at Volume 1, Issue 1Issue 2, and Issue 3.  Also:  Supplementary Online Material.

I don’t want to make a habit out of starting posts by quoting tweets, but by coincidence it works here too.  So, a couple of weeks ago, after receiving another one of the journal rejection emails that we as scientists cherish so much, I tweeted:

This got a surprisingly vocal reaction on Twitter, and so I’ve decided that to kick off the New Year I will make good on my threat.  Thus, I’d like to announce an experiment in the form of a new feature on this blog called “Rejection Watch”, with a title which is shamelessly derivative of a blog I love.  The focus of this semi-regular feature will be the funniest, weirdest, most crushing, most useful rejections received by me and by you, the readers.  I invite you to send me your best rejections, good or bad, to, and I will post them here so that we can all benefit from the knowledge that we’re not alone in feeling what we feel when yet another journal says “Sorry, we get a lot of submissions, and you didn’t make the cut”.

The rules are simple:

  • Send your rejection story to  I reserve the right to judge the suitability for publication on this blog, but I’m pretty easy going.  As long as it’s a non-pornographic story about a rejection received while attempting to publish in any academic field (journals, books, magazines, etc), it’ll probably get through. I’ll also take related academic rejections like grants and scholarships.  And the non-pornographic part is negotiable if it’s funny. 🙂
  • Be sure to tell me if you want to be anonymous or not.  I’ll ask if you forget, but it’ll save some time if I don’t have to chase you down.  And keep in mind that aside from asking that question, I won’t change what you write unless I have a really good reason.  This means that if you leave in identifying details that you meant to take out, you’ll see them on the web in short order and will have to scramble to get me to take them out.
  • The feature will occur when people send me stuff, hence the “semi-regular”.  If no one sends me anything, I’ll probably put up a few of my own rejections and then give up.  Wait, that’s depressingly meta…
  • Have fun with it.  We get kicked in the teeth often enough trying to get our science out the door and it’s time to get a little back:  comment on the rejection, be snarky, be thoughtful, be whatever you want.

So, once more, that phone number is   Call now, and you can be the first one to be published!  I promise that I won’t even assess your contribution for novelty, technical correctness, or interest to the readership of this journal blog.


4 thoughts on “Announcing “Rejection Watch”.

  1. […] new blog, Rejection Watch, is collecting journal rejection letters. I think they are looking for the most absurd ones. Share […]

  2. Rich says:

    My university recently held a short training course to help postdocs write better applications (for grant funding, job applications etc). My application to attend the course was rejected. Does that count?

    • stevenhamblin says:

      Yup, that counts. (And all on its own, is pretty funny!) If it fits under the headings of “rejection” and, as my Masters advisor used to call it, “academentia”, I’ll probably print it.

      • Rich says:

        I wrote back and said that their rejection surely qualified me to attend the course. They were not amused. If I can dig up the emails, I’ll share the text with you.

        PS Great idea for a blog by the way!

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