Opinion 153: Editors of Math Journals (e.g.: Patrice Ossona de Mendez and Pierre Rosenstiehl, eds. of European Journal of Combinatorics) Who Immediately Reject Submissions (without refereeing) because they decide that they are of "insufficient interest for their audience" are ANALOGOUS to Managers of Swimming Pools Who Deny admission because of race or ethnicity

By Doron Zeilberger

Written: Sept. 3, 2016

A few weeks ago, the Israeli-Arab Ha'aretz columnist, Sayed Kashua, narrated how a manager of a swimming pool in a Northern town in Israel denied admission to an Israeli Arab with the pretext that he is not a resident of the town, but when a Jew asked for admission, she was admitted without problem, even though she explicitly stated that she is not a resident. The reason that the Arab was denied admission was racial and/or ethnic PREJUDICE.

A few days ago, one of my brilliant students, who, using my advice, submitted to the European Journal of Combinatorics (EJC), a brilliant paper, proving deep results on a topic of current great interest ("core partitions"), that the great Combinatorics guru Richard Stanley, and many other smart people, worked on recently, and that EJC published quite a few papers on.

After a few days he got the following rejection slip. The reason for their rejection was just as bad as racist (or sexist, or homophobic) prejudice, it was "key-word" PREJUDICE. They took a quick glance, and saw "computer-assisted proof" and "explicit expressions" and decided, on the spot, that it is "not interesting".

Excuse me, chers messieurs, the rejected article is at least as interesting, and far deeper, than your own article "Transitivity and Connectivity of Permutations" (Combinatorica 24 (2004), 487-501) that contains a semi-trivial bijection that was possibly already implicit in the work of Tutte's students.

If you get too many submissions, and am too lazy to send them all to referees, I have a better suggestion. Have a lottery, and have the following "rejection slip":

"Due to the large number of submissions, we are unable to referee them all, hence we have a lottery, and we regret to inform you that your submission did not win."

I am sure that with this random selection, the quality of the accepted papers will rise considerably, since your "expert" judgment, based on "key-wordism", and prejudice against subfields that you don't understand, is worse than random.


Opinions of Doron Zeilberger