Rejection from Journal of the Royal Society Interface Timelines: Over the hump

“Unfortunately, in view of the considerable pressures on publication in the journal, we are obliged to decline manuscripts that do not achieve the highest standard of referees’ report. Therefore, the Editor of J. R. Soc. Interface has decided to reject the paper. A resubmission will not be considered.”

I am not including the reviews, but my response to them:

Dear …,

thank you for your e-mail and I am sorry to not publish my results with JRSI. Although I obviously accept your decision and do not seek resubmission, I would like to point out the poor choice of reviewers in this process. Even if they have been chosen from our list of potential candidates, which I doubt, it would have been nice if the editors involved would have put a little more thought into evaluating their feedback.

Reviewer 1 acknowledges key parts of our reasoning [1], but fails to acknowledge the time frame of our analysis (single support) by complaining about the missing consideration of the (irrelevant) dynamics from the contralateral leg. He further bases his review on his dogmatic understanding of human gait based on an entirely unsuited model without objectively assessing the merits of the proposed model. He demonstrates a lack of understanding by completely distorting the core of our idea [2].

Even worse, reviewer 2 does not even grasp a very simple but fundamental idea of the paper – although it is clearly communicated and contextualized. By stating [3] he makes it obvious that he missed the fact that the center of rotation is outside the foot and demonstrates a clear lack of mechanical insight by finding the existence of a time-invariant velocity pole “not surprising”.

Thus unfortunately I cannot find the comments “useful” and am disappointed that, according to my personal experience, the reviewers do not have to demonstrate proper understanding of the matter nor argue the shortcomings of the proposed approach but can instead use ignorance and deflection in order to get a manuscript rejected.

Thank you for offering this insight into the royal society publishing process,

Daniel Renjewski

[1] “many quadrupedal forms (with both digitigrade and unguligrade feet) also have double hump vertical force profiles (although admittedly not as exaggerated as in the human case)”

[2] “it might call into question whether the ‘purpose’ of the foot is to generate the double hump profile”

[3] “That a point center of rotation of the foot can be found (presumably as a point between heel, ankle and MTP joint) is presumably not too surprising ”