Dear Dr. Freeman,

I have had my share of rejections from journals, but this is really the most insulting and unprofessional rejection I have ever received! We are all busy scholars, and nobody has time to waste. However if the reviewers did not even have time to jot down a quick email report of *WHY* they considered the paper unfit for publication, then the paper cannot really be said to have been reviewed at all!

The standard peer review process is already stacked against outsiders with a really new perspective, as was explained by Kuhn. The one-way anonymitiy accorded to the reviewers essentially releases them from any accountability for their judgements. Furthermore, reviewers are necessarily selected from those whose whole career is committed to the older paradigm. To stack the odds even more by not even requiring an explanation for their rejection is really going too far!

If you take the time to look at my paper, you will find that what I propose is indeed a new paradigm that challenges some of the most fundamental assumptions that underlie contemporary psychology and neuroscience. Paradigm debates do not come around often in science, and when they do, they require a more general handling than debates in "normal science". Unfortunately many reviewers are not aware of this distinction. It is not sufficient for the reviewers to be simply unconvinced by the new paradigm in order for them to recommend rejection. For as Kuhn himself argued, every new and original paradigm deserve at the very least to be exposed to the larger community to allow individual scientists to make their own judgement on the matter. That is why it is of paramount importance for the reviewers to explain the basis for their rejection.

In the name of the reputation of your journal as a serious and professional academic institution, it only seems fair that either I receive a detailed report from the reviewers to which I am given the opportunity to respond, or the journal should seek out alternate reviewers who take their responsibiliy a little more seriously!


Steven Lehar

Dr. Freeman Replies

Dear Steven,

Duly chastened, I have asked the reviewers for more detailed reports. In case I do not receive them, I have also sent the paper (with the author's name removed) to two fresh referees for "double-blind" review.

I will get back to you as soon as I have the new reports.

Best wishes,


Back & Forth