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How bad a mistake is it?


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Hi all,

 

I'm a Masters' student in my first semester. I wrote an academic book review as part of a class assignment and then sent it out for consideration. Because I was submitting to websites I was not strict about submitting to only one, and so messed up and wrote to two. When I explained to the second (after they responded) that I would not be able to give them the review and apologised profusely for my mistake, I got an abusive response calling me a 'weasel and a scoundrel' and telling me to talk about this behaviour with my faculty advisor. Now I'm aware that it was a mistake, but was it that bad to merit that kind of response? I'm an international student, and am also not sure how bad this is in the American academic context. I'll obviously never do it again, but am I basically blacklisted for life?! 

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Without knowing more details, it is hard to give advice, but no professional should ever call someone a weasel and a scoundrel unprovoked. If that's their response to a retraction maybe you shouldn't care if you are blacklisted. 

If you are blacklisted, it'll probably only be until that editor moves on though.

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Thanks. I was taken aback by how violent the reaction was. I understand that a lot of publications have a strict policy regarding multiple submissions, but it was an honest mistake and I didn't think it merited that kind of response. Especially since I was apologetic and explained the situation, owning up to my mistake before they could run it or even pass it on to their other editors. 

 

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18 hours ago, Arwen27 said:

I got an abusive response calling me a 'weasel and a scoundrel' and telling me to talk about this behaviour with my faculty advisor. Now I'm aware that it was a mistake, but was it that bad to merit that kind of response?

The name calling was inappropriate and having a quick chat with your advisor about your miscue would not be too terrible an idea.

As a graduate student in the U.S., you'll have plenty of opportunities to make mistakes. A mistake that you should avoid is using the tone of a correction/criticism as a reason not to learn what may be learned. In this case, a momentary lapse of attention to detail may have created extra work for others and cost the on-line publication, if not also another reviewer, opportunities.

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On 10/1/2017 at 10:33 PM, Arwen27 said:

I'll obviously never do it again, but am I basically blacklisted for life?! 

A couple general pieces of advice:

- even if you are "blacklisted for life" by one journal, it's only one journal and many many many journals include book review sections

- book review editor positions are not glamorous and thus change frequently

- yes, the name-calling was inappropriate, but this will occasionally happen (along with all other bad habits of "Reviewer #2")

- the only time that you can send out the same written work to multiple outlets is when you are submitting book proposals to Presses

- if the editor was upset, this may have been because they were considering your piece for publication, and that's good!

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  • 4 months later...

1. Yes, that was an inappropriate response

2. Yes, you should discuss the incident with your advisor -- not so much to receive a spanking as to put your mind at ease and figure out any field/subfield-specific steps for going forward (I'm not sure how small your discipline's scholarly circle is, for instance, and different disciplines have different codes of decorum)

3. ...'A weasel and a scoundrel'? Personally, I would print that response, frame it, and possibly consider getting business cards made. 

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