I finally heard back from a journal about an article I submitted over 4 months ago, and the answer was a resounding REJECT. Naturally, I was disappointed, but I think what bothered me most was the snideness of the reviewers. One even said, “I cannot tell whether it makes a substantial empirical contribution, though I am doubtful that it does.”
Seriously? Insulting someone’s work like that, even if it wasn’t publication-ready, is underhanded. As can be the case online, anonymity facilitates a lot of nastiness that would almost never be seen in a face-to-face interaction. This particular reviewer really crossed the line between legitimate, constructive criticism and outright asshattery.
Another reviewer took the opportunity to make snide and unsubtle digs at the scale upon which my research was based. It’s a pretty well-known culinary psychology scale that has a strong publication history and is widely used, so it’s not like it’s some little-known upstart measure. If you’re going to review for a journal, set your intellectual partisanship aside and read someone’s research for what it is, not how it conflicts with your research agenda.
The rejection e-mail encouraged me to submit to that particular journal in the future. Not likely, if their reviewers treat authors like this!