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It would be great if we - editors and/or referees - could send a paper back tot he author(s) on this basis. Not necessarily an immediate reject, but a stand that in the current state the paper is not worth the time it would take a referee to sort out what is useful. Then again...maybe that would just serve to lower the quality of first submissions?

Linda, you're absolutely right, we need a new category, not "revise and resubmit" but rather "not yet submission ready." The editorial management software forces me to choose one of a limited number of options, and "not yet submission ready" isn't one of them. So I either have to reject the paper, which is a more negative signal than I wish to send, or give the author a revise and resubmit, which is a more positive signal than I wish to send.

you know QJE tables dont report R2.

I rarelly if ever report R2 in my papers and no one ask me too...

the rest I agree, except if the writter is a grad student... then you might want to be more lenient... maybe his advisor is not very good...

John - I agree with you about r-squared - but don't you think it's a good idea to report some kind of goodness-of-fit stats?

On leniency - these are only the letters I would like to write! The ones I actually write are much kinder and gentler.

Still, it's like their/there/they're. People have the difference between their/there/they're kindly and gently pointed out to them from grade 2 through to grad school. But they don't learn the difference because it doesn't really matter. In the real world, though, putting the wrong kind of their on a cover letter is enough to bump you off the short list. Remarkably, when it matters, people work out how to spell their, there and they're pretty fast.

Beautiful. For a journal I happen to serve on the editorial board of, we do a lot of "this is not ready for publication" rejects...fortunately, we don't have "editorial management software" that limits our ability to respond...

With respect to John's comment suggesting being a kindly, gentler editor if the author is a grad student, I think not. This is an adult activity here, and you get treated as an adult.

Strangely, I (not native speaker) do not have any problems with their/there/they're. But I do have a very tense relationship with then/than and lose/loose. There is just something wrong with these words. Having personal experience with how it feels like I am more sympathetic with poor Japanese struggling with r/l.

J.V. - lose/loose get me too, as does chose/choose. I know just about every synonym for choose (pick, opt for, etc) - anything to avoid having to write choose on the blackboard. Economists need to be able to distinguish between complements and compliments, too. Remuneration/renumeration. Tariff is another hard to spell econ word.

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