[DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in my posts are personal opinions, and they do not reflect the editorial policy of Social Psychological and Personality Science or its sponsoring associations, which are responsible for setting editorial policy for the journal.]
This is a guest post by Katie Corker on behalf of a group of usRejection hurts. No amount of Netflix binge watching, nor ice cream eating, nor crying to one's dog* really takes the sting out of feeling rejected. Yet, as scientific researchers, we have to deal with an almost constant stream of rejection - there's never enough grant money or journal space to go around.Which brings us to today's topic. All six of us were recently rejected** from the Perspectives on Psychological Science special issue featuring commentaries on scientific eminence. The new call for submissions was a follow-up to an earlier symposium entitled "Am I Famous Yet?", which featured commentaries on fame and merit in psychological research from seven eminent white men and Alice Eagly.*** The new call was issued in response to a chorus of nasty women and other dissidents who insisted that their viewpoints hadn't been represented by the scholars in the original special issue. The new call explicitly invited these "diverse perspectives" to speak up (in 1,500 words or less****).Each of the six of us independently rose to the challenge and submitted comments. None of us were particularly surprised to receive rejections - after all, getting rejected is just about the most ordinary thing that can happen to a practicing researcher. Word started to spread among the rejected, however, and we quickly discovered that many of the themes we had written about were shared across our pieces. That judgments of eminence were biased along predictable socio-demographic lines. That overemphasis on eminence creates perverse incentives. That a focus on communal goals and working in teams was woefully absent from judgments of eminence.*****Hm. It appeared to us that some perspectives were potentially being systemically excluded from Perspectives!****** Wouldn't it be a shame if the new call for submissions yielded yet more published pieces that simply reinforced the original papers? What would be the point of asking for more viewpoints at all?Luckily it's 2017. We don't have to publish in Perspectives for you to hear our voices. We hope you enjoy our preprints, and we look forward to discussing and improving******* this work.The manuscripts:-Katie Corkeron behalf of the authors (Katie Corker, Fernanda Ferreira, Åse Innes-Ker, Cindy Pickett, Lani Shiota, & Simine Vazire)** Technically, some of the six of us got R&Rs, but the revisions requested were so dramatic that we have a hard time imagining being able to make them without compromising the main themes of our original pieces.*** It shouldn't come as a surprise that Eagly's commentary concerned issues relating to gender and power. It was also the only co-authored piece (David Miller was also an author) in the bunch. Eagly and Miller's title was "Scientific eminence: Where are all the women?" Hi Alice and David - we're over here!**** Doesn't appear that the original special issue had such a tight word limit, but who are we to judge?***** We were also disheartened to notice that, ironically, many of themes we raised in our pieces surfaced in the treatment we received from the editor and reviewers. For instance, we were told to provide evidence for claims like "women in psychological science may face discrimination." One reviewer even claimed that white men are actually at a disadvantage when it comes to receiving awards in our field. We collectively wondered why we, the "diverse voices," were seemingly being held to higher standard of evidence than the pieces in the original symposium. Color us surprised that as members of a group stereotyped as less competent, and as outsiders to the eminence club, we had to work impossibly hard to be seen as competent (see Biernat & Kobrynowicz, 1997, among many others).****** On the other hand, it's entirely possible that there were 20 such submissions, and the six of us represent the weakest of the bunch. Hard to get over that imposter syndrome...******* We've chosen to post the unedited submissions so that you can see them in their original form. Of course, the reviewers did raise some good points, and we anticipate revising these papers in the future to address some of the issues they raised.