In an impressive debut, the seemingly inevitable Journal of Universal Rejection has hit the scene, capturing the inverse relationship between publication quantity and publication quality to perfection. Sporting the tagline “Reporbatio certa, hora incerta” (echoing the Latin “mors certa, hora incerta” [“death is certain, but the hour is not”], JofUR promises:
. . . all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected.
Despite this apparently dismal outlook, the JofUR offers some compelling benefits to prospective authors:
- You can send your manuscript here without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission. You know with 100% certainty that it will not be accepted for publication.
- There are no page-fees.
- You may claim to have submitted to the most prestigious journal (judged by acceptance rate).
- The JofUR is one-of-a-kind. Merely submitting work to it may be considered a badge of honor.
- You retain complete rights to your work, and are free to resubmit to other journals even before our review process is complete.
- Decisions are often (though not always) rendered within hours of submission.
This radical approach has garnered media attention from the likes of NPR. However, Paul Kedrosky did us all a favor by submitting a paper, only to be greeted soon thereafter with a charming rejection, as promised:
Thank you for your titleless pre-textual submission to the Journal of Universal Rejection. I have imagined what your submission might have been and found it unworthy of publication in our prestigious journal. Try not to feel too sad about this rejection.
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Journal of Universal Rejection
Now, while this level of rejection seems difficult to improve upon, I have a few suggestions for its editorial and business staff to consider:
- Submission charges should be considered. After all, there is a price to rejection, and rejection is an important aspect of defining your brand.
- Each issue list (currently designated as [empty]) could be enhanced by a listing of what possibly might have been there. For instance, January — zero papers published, rejects = 274 from 57 different countries.
- I sense a product line here, and suggest that the obvious next step — the Journal of Universal Acceptance. But, of course, this would face much more competition from existing vanity publishing operations in the market.
- There is no conflict of interest policy on their site. I worry about this. While rejection may be uniform, it’s important to know it’s being done for the right reasons.
For stringent editorial standards and an untarnished reputation, the Journal of Universal Rejection stands apart.