Natural selection

While only seven days after our submission to Nature the editor stated

We certainly have no doubt that your model will be of value to others seeking a deeper understanding of human gait; and we don’t question that the insights so obtained could be relevant in a variety of therapeutic and artificial contexts.

he also said

But as the broader implications of your findings have yet to be elucidated, we are unable to conclude that the paper offers the sort of striking advance that would be likely to excite the immediate interest of Nature’s broader audience.

and advised us to transfer the manuscript to Nature Communications. Which we did not do but instead transfered to Nature Physics first, hoping to receive feedback before Christmas. This did not happen and after 28 days the editor of Nature Physics told us

In the present case, we have no doubt that your mathematical description of the dynamics of human walking will be of inherent interest to fellow researchers working on this and related topics.

but at the same time stated

As you may know, in deciding which papers to publish we have to make an editorial judgement about the immediacy of interest to our readers and the degree and nature of the advance demonstrated.

and suggested to transfer to Nature Communications, which we ultimately did last week. We are still waiting for an editor to be assigned and meanwhile I am wondering who is this audience of Nature and Nature Physics (not to forget Science, of course)? Why are they reading these journals and what are they looking for? And how do the editors know, what this is? Very curious to me.

Nature Communications – transferred

6. January 2022

Nature Physics – rejected by editor

5. January 2022

As you may know, in deciding which papers to publish we have to make an editorial judgement about the immediacy of interest to our readers and the degree and nature of the advance demonstrated. In practice, this means that we decline a majority (and ever increasing proportion) of manuscripts without sending them to referees, in cases where we feel that, even if referees were to certify the manuscript as technically correct, there would not be a sufficiently strong case for publication in Nature Physics. I am sorry to have to say that we must take this view concerning your submission.   In the present case, we have no doubt that your mathematical description of the dynamics of human walking will be of inherent interest to fellow researchers working on this and related topics. However, I regret that we are unable to conclude that your paper provides the sort of new fundamental or general insight in physics, with sufficiently broad implications, that would excite the interest of a wide, non-specialist audience of physicists. Therefore, we feel that the paper would find a more appropriate home in a specialist journal.   Although I regret that we cannot offer to publish your paper in Nature Physics for editorial reasons, it may be appropriate for our sister journal Nature Communications, and we encourage you to transfer it there. If you would like to do this (or transfer to a different Nature Portfolio journal), a link to initiate the process can be found in the…

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Nature Physics – transferred

8. December 2021

Nature – rejected by editor

7. December 2021

As you may know, we decline a substantial proportion of manuscripts without sending them to referees, so that they may be sent elsewhere without delay. In such cases, even if referees were to certify the manuscript as technically correct, we do not believe that it represents a development of sufficient scientific impact to warrant publication in Nature. These editorial judgements are based on such considerations as the degree of advance provided, the breadth of potential interest to researchers and timeliness.   In this case, we do not feel that your paper has matched our criteria for further consideration. We certainly have no doubt that your model will be of value to others seeking a deeper understanding of human gait; and we don’t question that the insights so obtained could be relevant in a variety of therapeutic and artificial contexts. But as the broader implications of your findings have yet to be elucidated, we are unable to conclude that the paper offers the sort of striking advance that would be likely to excite the immediate interest of Nature’s broader audience. We therefore feel that the paper would find a more suitable outlet in another journal.   Please be assured that this editorial decision does not represent a criticism of the quality of your work, nor are we questioning its value to others working in this area. We hope that you will rapidly receive a more favourable response elsewhere.

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Submitted to Nature

30. November 2021

Science – rejected by editor

23. November 2021

Submission to Science

15. November 2021