Friday, March 20, 2009

Rejecta Mathematica

I do not know how I stumbled onto this page, but the idea is brilliant. It is an online open access journal for Math papers that have been rejected by other peer reviewed journals. They believe that even rejected papers add value to the academic community. They even offer franchise options to other sciences to start a Rejecta journal within their academic community. This idea is great at so many levels. On a pure academic level:
  1. It helps authors vocalize their ideas even if they are rejected by regular peer-reviewed journals
  2. Seminal works like Tullock's 1967 article which was rejected several times before being printed in the Western Economic Journal, would probably get noticed right away
As an economic idea, what a wonderful entrepreneurial idea!! Any graduate student knows getting into the academic cliques of publishing is not an easy task. It is a rigorous time consuming process. However, I wonder if such an idea can work in Economics. From a grad student or young professor perspective, this may not be such a great signaling device. Imagine lines on your cv that state even one publication in Rejecta Economica. It could be a bad signal to potential employers or those that decide tenure. They know that your ideas have been rejected by regular peer reviewed journals. 
There may be flaws in the current publishing system (what system is perfect?!), but who would make the first move to start such a journal in the first place, and even if someone did who would be bold enough to send papers to them? My guess is the first mover problem would be solved by those that have little to lose from such exposure, such as tenured professors.  There would be a self-selection bias here. In addition, so many academic economists have blogs that exist as a medium to voice incomplete ideas or those that have little chance of being published or have even been rejected. The idea is cool though!!


Arnold said...

I totally agree with you on this one! Nice find!

G.Visakh Varma said...

This idea is great.

Macneil said...

On the other hand, posting such an article can be a signal of the strength of the work. It would say "I believe this belongs in top journals, and I'm not going to act like it's weak by submitting to lower-tiered journals."

In computer science, it can be better to release something as a technical report than to submit it to one of the conferences that accepts basically anything cogently written.

David Curran said...

Could this be a good crazy control valve? If the loons cranks and weirdos get to send their articles to a journal does that mean they wont go around bothering others?

Mikey Mike said...

I remember a similar idea over a few beers many years ago: "Chemica Rejecta Acta" in which papers had to have been rejected by 3 journals. Extra credit for articles in which reviewers had been particularly savage.