Does No One Read the Description?

I was in my first month as managing editor of the (long-gone) Colorado Outdoor Journal when an article came in about fishing in Utah. Hello? “Colorado” is in the title.

When I was freelancing for commercial magazines, I was told always to read at least a couple of issues before submitting an article query, advice that I passed along to my students. The same would hold with academic journals — you would think — since they are often so narrowly defined.

On May 16th, an article came in through The Pomegranate’s online submission process (which requires filling in various fields in the Online Journal System) titled “The Holy Qur’an: The Origin of Human Discourse in Ethics.”

Less than a week later, one of the co-authors, who appeared to be teaching in the Islamic Education Department at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran, is writing to me wanting know my editorial decision on the piece.

So (a) she/they is unclear what “peer-reviewed journal” means and (b) she/they missed all the language on the main page about “Pagan,” “polytheist,” “reconstructionist,” etc.

Maybe “Pomegranate” just sounded Middle Eastern?

I sent a PDF of the last issue with my response, just to make the point that their piece outside our remit. Very far.

4 thoughts on “Does No One Read the Description?

  1. Kalinysta

    I’m sorry. I should’ve written “Could it be that the person’s English language comprehension skills were lacking?

    1. The correspondence was in clear English. I did not read the paper past the abstract.

      What I do see is people in certain countries sending in papers that have little to do with the journal’s purpose. I am sure that other editors see the same thing in other fields. Obviously, this Iranian university is not going to have Pomegranate in its library, but it is still possible to browse the tables of contents of past issues online and to read the abstracts of what was published.

      1. Kalinysta

        Sounds like they just want to get published somewhere and where is irrelevant. Most illogical, as Mr. Spock would say.

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