Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Three Promises

From the mailbag today is the writer of the MIT Sloan Management Review rejection presented below.   Think of this as a reminder that it's tough to put your baby out in the world no matter the field -- even business writing. Says the reject excitedly via an email, "The editor actually took the time to personalize this rejection making me feel like a professional rather than objectified. I couldn't believe it! Good relations, if you ask me. I'd be happy to be rejected by them again (but more happy to be accepted, admittedly)."  Note how many times the word "paper" is used the first paragraph; looks like some editing of the rejection letter might be in order):

From: "Xxxxx Xxxxxx"
Date: July 23, 2009
To: [Name of Writer
Subject: MIT Sloan Management Review: Decision About Your Submission

Mr. Writer:

Thank you for your submission, "[Title of Article]"

After internal review of your (1) paper, we have unfortunately decided not to pursue publication of your (2) paper at this time. While your (3) paper was very interesting, we found that it would not be of sufficient value to our readers at this time. The (4) paper was a pleasure to read and certainly makes a compelling case. But unfortunately, as the (5) paper admits, some of the ideas aren't entirely novel. Because of this, we don't feel the (6) paper will have sufficient value to our readers.

We would also like you to know that streamlining our editorial review process is very important to us. We have expanded our staff, and we are endeavoring to improve our technological resources as well. We have announced a new editorial policy. The details of this new policy can be found on SMR's all new website, but the most important feature are three promises to our authors:

1) We will respond to all new submissions within 48 hours.
2) We will decide within three weeks whether to reject your paper or send it to peer review.
3) We will respond to all papers in peer review within 12 weeks.

We recognize that timeliness of ideas is an important aspect of publishing, and we hope this policy will help our authors more quickly find an outlet for their work.

We wish you the best of luck in finding an appropriate outlet for this paper, and we hope that you will consider submitting work to MIT SMR again in the future.

MIT Sloan Management Review

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