Thursday, October 10, 2013


This just in: notice that my paper has been successfully submitted to the Journal of Biomedical Informatics.
Not that I wrote it. My colleague F wrote it; I'm just a co-author.

I'm a coauthor who has not been allowed to get too close to this manuscript, because F knows only too well that if he lets me see it, I will disagree with half of what it says, and even the other half still needs to say what it says differently. And if he gives me the manuscript for revision, it will be a long time in revision.

Yeah, I know. I'm slow getting his papers back to him. My official excuse is that this paper is item #63 on my priority list. Which is not a lie! But I admit: it's the writing. The text is disorganized. The language is approximative and vague, full of annoying circumlocutions and jargon. Little difference is made between key points and interesting but inconsequential details. If I say to streamline, he leaves in the details and cuts the essentials. Althogether, it's incomprehensible.

This particular paper was submitted a few months ago to a nice computing journal, without my having read it. Last week it came back with the commentary 
- incomprehensible algorithm
- poorly written text
- not adapted to their journal
It was never even sent for review, but rejected directly by the editor.

We agreed to address these concerns before submitting elsewhere, but F was adamant about not wasting a lot of time revising. Now it has been resubmitted, in record time, and I have still not seen it. So the quickness goal was achieved. But what is the value of that, if the new editor just sends it right to the dustbin?

And now back to your regularly scheduled tour of Italy...

1 comment:

Titus said...

Aaargh. That's the stuff of nightmare.