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May. 1st, 2012

Dear Journal Editor, It's Me Again
By Roy F. Baumeister

Dear Sir, Madame, or Other:

Enclosed is our latest version of MS# 85-02-02-22-RRRRR, that is, the
re-re-re-revised revision of our paper. Choke on it. We have again
rewritten the entire manuscript from start to finish. We even changed the
goddam running head! Hopefully we have suffered enough by now to satisfy
even you and your bloodthirsty reviewers.

I shall skip the usual point-by-point description of every single change we
made in response to the critiques. After all, its fairly clear that your
reviewers are less interested in details of scientific procedure than in
working out their personality problems and sexual frustrations by seeking
some kind of demented glee in the sadistic and arbitrary exercise of
tyrannical power over hapless authors like ourselves who happen to fall into
their clutches. We do understand that, in view of the misanthropic
psychopaths you have on your editorial board, you need to keep sending them
papers, for if they weren't reviewing manuscripts they'd probably be out
mugging old ladies or clubbing baby seals to death. Still, from this batch
of reviewers, C was clearly the most hostile, and we request that you not
ask him or her to review this revision. Indeed, we have mailed letter bombs
to four or five people we suspected of being reviewer C, so if you send the
manuscript back to them the review process could be unduly delayed.

Some of the reviewers' comments we couldn't do anything about. For example,
if (as reviewer C suggested) several of my recent ancestors were indeed
drawn from other species, it is too late to change that. Other suggestions
were implemented, however, and the paper has improved and benefited. Thus,
you suggested that we shorten the manuscript by 5 pages, and we were able to
accomplish this very effectively by altering the margins and printing the
paper in a different font with a smaller typeface. We agree with you that
the paper is much better this way.

One perplexing problem was dealing with suggestions # 13-28 by Reviewer B.
As you may recall (that is, if you even bother reading the reviews before
doing your decision letter), that reviewer listed 16 works that he/she felt
we should cite in this paper. These were on a variety of different topics,
none of which had any relevance to our work that we could see. Indeed, one
was an essay on the Spanish-American War from a high school literary
magazine. The only common thread was that all 16 were by the same author,
presumably someone whom Reviewer B greatly admires and feels should be more
widely cited. To handle this, we have modified the Introduction and added,
after the review of relevant literature, a subsection entitled "Review of
Irrelevant Literature" that discusses these articles and also duly addresses
some of the more asinine suggestions in the other reviews.

We hope that you will be pleased with this revision and will finally
recognize how urgently deserving of publication this work is. If not, then
you are an unscrupulous, depraved monster with no shred of human
decency. You ought to be in a cage. May whatever heritage you come from be
the butt of the next round of ethnic jokes. If you do accept it, however,
we wish to thank you for your patience and wisdom throughout this process
and to express our appreciation of your scholarly insights. To repay you,
we would be happy to review some manuscripts for you; please send us the
next manuscript that any of these reviewers submits to your journal.

Assuming you accept this paper, we would also like to add a footnote
acknowledging your help with this manuscript and to point out that we liked
the paper much better the way we originally wrote it, but you held the
editorial shotgun to our heads and forced us chop, reshuffle, restate, hedge
expand, shorten, and in general covert a meaty paper into stir-fried
vegetables. We couldn't or wouldn't have done it without your input.

Sincerely,

...

(http://research.ivo-welch.info/humor-letter.txt)

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
earilian
May. 2nd, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
под столом! so true
be_unafraid
May. 2nd, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
мне особенно понравилось Review of Irrelevant Literature :))
earilian
May. 3rd, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
yep!
mountolivet
May. 3rd, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC)
This is really awesome, I couldn't stop laughing when reading it (and so was the other one, about the rejection letter).
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )