“We Are Sorry to Inform You…”

How much damage could be caused by a peer reviewer having a bad day? You only have to have a look through the list of Turing Award winners (or some of the top cited papers in computer science) to see that, given the current standards for reviewing, many of those papers would never have been published. As highlighted in this CACM article, they would have come up against journal reviewers who would have rejected such works, considering them too speculative or theoretical. More specifically for UK academics, how many of them would be REF returnable?

Even if you have had a paper brutally rejected, enjoy these fictitious reviews (also here) of seminal papers in computer science, including work from Turing, Hoare, Dijkstra and Shannon. For example:

On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem

This is a bizarre paper….If the article is accepted, Turing should remember that the language of this journal is English and change the title accordingly.

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