1. About
  2. Features
  3. Explore

When I started my "quest for knowledge" several years ago I began in an already ill defined-field which was on the borders between science and philosophy but as I progressed I drifted further and further into something I can only classify as "something pertaining to many sciences but not really a part of any one field". It became some even I-can-not-tell-what field of science and although I have completed my quest and came with a sound paradigm it doesn't really pertain to the scope of any of the journals in my area which I use in my references. Or to be more precise, it pertains to all of them but only "a little bit", this is why selecting the proper journal seems so difficult now.

In order to solve the problem, and actually thinking this is a solution, I decided to write a small e-mail to journals explaining my situation and what I have done. It was something like a 200-300 word abstract so they know what my paper is about and then asked if this is within the scope of their journal. None have answered me!

Has anyone had a similar experience? Did I do the right thing writing their editorial boards these e-mails? Did I shoot myself in the foot by doing this? Any suggestions what the effect of these e-mails could have been (e.g. they think I am a crackpot, they just deleted them, they put me in a "forbidden list")? Am I doing something terribly wrong here? Can anybody give me advice as to how I can handle the situation from now on? Do such e-mails effect my chances of publishing there negatively or outright stop them?

1 Answer 1

Don't worry. There is nothing bad about what you have done, and it will almost certainly have no impact on consideration of any manuscript you may submit to any of those journals.

Most academics divide their time between large numbers of obligations, and they receive many unsolicited emails; this is even more true of those who are on the editorial board of a prominent journal. Many of them will not reply to an unsolicited message from someone they don't know.

They have not put you on a "forbidden list" or labeled you as a crackpot (unless the content of your message was such as to warrant that -- but even then they probably don't remember your name).

Let me add that it is sometimes a good idea to contact an editor before submitting your paper, and I have done so on occasion. This usually requires that you know the editor, or that someone who knows them can introduce you -- or that you can manage to bump into them at a conference. Asking informally if your manuscript is a fit for their journal can be helpful when the work falls between disciplines, and an immediate answer saves time for you, for the journal, and possibly for potential reviewers. When doing this you should usually contact the particular associate editor who is most likely to handle a manuscript like yours.