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Re: [tlug] Journals, Authors and 'Free Peer Review'

Benjamin Kowarsch writes:

 > I didn't mean to imply that not getting the job was a reflection of your
 > suitability.

No such thing occurred to me.  I thought the back story was
interesting enough to post, that's all.  Also, if there are any
wannabe PhDs out there, they might decide that they really didn't miss
anything. :-) Seriously, it's not a world for (real) people without
bullet-proof egos.  Lots of Trump-like fakers, but even some of those
with Nobel-level skills have no sense of noblesse oblige.

 > I was thinking positive along the lines of had they offered you the
 > job anyway despite apparently picking apart some of your published
 > work, it may have been an indication that they didn't really find
 > anything wrong with your work but simply picked it apart to see how
 > you would defend it.

No, it was more along the lines of "what were you thinking to send us
this crap, which I wasted time reading [~5 pages]?" :-) Basically I
noticed an odd coincidence of the solutions to two rather different
mathematical models that were quite special, and showed that the two
models' solutions coincide for a much broader set of parameters.
Unfortunately I don't know why they coincide even today, and don't
have an economics interpretation for the fact.  Neither does anybody
else, it's still an open question.  So in ne sense, the interviewer's
comment was accurate, but unnecessarily harsh.  In another, there
remains an interesting puzzle there, and he missed it.  Like
Michelson-Morley, though I wouldn't put money on it being that
important (even "in field") for less than 100000:1 odds. ;-)

By the way, that paper got cited a fair number of times, and in
prominent places (an important generalization of one of the models,
and in a textbook, both by the same author).

Another interesting story, more relevant to the "so you want to be an
academic?" subthread, is that I also submitted it as a comment on one
of the papers I was following up to, to the American Economic Review,
then and now the flagship journal of the main association for
economists of the U.S., and the most-read in the profession.  In
2-page comment format, it was desk-rejected on the grounds that it
"did not tend to promote controversy in the profession."  Instead, the
editor devoted 15 pages to a complaint by a no-name economist from a
top-100 school that his works were insufficiently cited.  The
blistering reply from the original author looked more like a
Washington Post fact-check of a Trump tweet than an academic work.

Such is the life of a professional academic. :-)


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