Feelings about impact factors and journals

Can anybody explain (without falling into ridicule) why, simultaneously:

Btw, this is a link to an excellent article by Björn Brembs, coming just days after another great article, “We have met the enemy and it is us” by Mark Johnston.

I wanted to make a short post on the use of “feelings” in publishing and peer-reviews  since a long time.  Now is an occasion to finally write one, using Björn’s posting as an example. In his article, he reproduces “feelings” of editors, like (my boldfaces):

… we will decline to pursue [your manuscript] further as we feel we have aired many of these issues already in our pages recently …

we feel that the scope and focus of your paper make it more appropriate for a more specialized journal …

Isn’t it striking that such “feelings” always appear when there is no rational argument (to be overtly mentioned) against accepting an article? I think everybody has at least an example from personal experience. Is this true? Check out your files for examples.  If you find a referee report or an editor decision which contains feelings but no arguments, try to read them while listening this classic:

This “feelings” subject is related to the conclusion of Brembs et al. article Deep Impact: Unintended consequences of journal rank , which is

Therefore, we suggest that abandoning journals altogether, in favor of a library-based scholarly communication system, will ultimately be necessary. This new system will use modern information technology to vastly improve the filter, sort and discovery functions of the current journal system.

… because a new scholarly communication system has to rely on technical (and not “feelings” based), perpetual (i.e. ever enhancing), open  pre- and post-  peer review system. (Which, incidentally, is also the only service a publisher can  still offer to the author, but, strangely, does not want to acknowledge that.)


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