No retractions necessary: An interview with the editor of the Journal of Universal Rejection
The founding principle of the Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR) is rejection. Universal rejection. That is to say, all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected. Despite that apparent drawback, here are a number of reasons you may choose to submit to the JofUR:
- 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.
We found the idea brilliant, not to mention hilarious, so we sent the JUR’s editor, Caleb Emmons, some questions. He was gracious enough to respond within a few hours on a Saturday afternoon — although he may have been eager for us to order a subscription.
RW: When did you found the Journal?
JUR: Although the first issue appeared in March 2009, I did not dream up the JofUR until one rainy day in November 2010 as I was riding the bus home and thinking about middle school.
RW: How many submissions have you had?
JUR: We at the JofUR do not release that kind of information other than to say “None so far.” However I would like to add that I only just posted the first call for submissions on Facebook last Thursday, and frankly I don’t have that many friends so I’d say the turn-out has really been stellar.
RW: Does the Journal of Universal Rejection have a retraction policy?
JUR: We do not. We only have policies for errata, corrigenda, and addenda, because we like Latin words that pluralize with an ‘a.’ We handle retraction on a case-by-case basis without a general policy.
RW: Have you ever retracted any papers?
JUR: Retracted, no. Though there was one paper the government complained about so we redacted it heavily.
RW: Do you have an impact factor?
JUR: Yes. As a mathematician I feel safe in saying that it is about as close to infinity as any real number. [RW note: For those of you unfamiliar with the impact factor, its formula involves division by the number of papers a journal publishes.] The only thing I know which has a higher impact factor is Chuck Norris’ fists.
RW: Are you aware of the Journal of Are You F-ing Kidding?
JUR: I am now. Thanks for the link; now I know about UK libel laws too.