Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rejecta Mathematica

Rejecta Mathematica is a new "open-access, online journal that publishes only papers that have been rejected from peer-reviewed journals in the mathematical sciences." "Every paper appearing in Rejecta Mathematica includes an open letter from its authors discussing the paper's original review process, disclosing any known flaws in the paper, and stating the case for the paper's value to the community."

I have to admit that reading these open letters in their inaugural issue, I was surprised by the histories of some of these papers. Some were caught in the gap between subjects (not enough physics to be published in a physics journal, not of broad enough interest to be published in a math journal). Other papers received rejections from reviewers on rather slim or debatable grounds (of course, we only hear from the authors in their own words, so we only get one side of the story). Other authors gave up or moved on, and didn't even try to revise and resubmit their article to the same or a different journal.

This raises the interesting question of whether such a journal would be welcomed in the atmospheric sciences community (Rejecta Meteorologica?). Certainly, I have seen some manuscripts rejected at Monthly Weather Review and other journals that I edit or review for that would fit into one of these categories. What are your thoughts?