01 September, 2008

Einstein Versus the Physical Review

A nice story from Physics Today. When Einstein moved to the US, he began to publish his work in American journals, but was not used to the peer-review procedure. After submitting his work "Do gravitational waves exist?" (with Rosen as coauthor) to Physical Review, Einstein received a critically reviewed manuscript with a comment of editor that it "would be great to have [Einstein's] reaction to the various comments and criticisms the referee has made". He was shocked by it and withdrew the article with the following letter to the editor:

Dear Sir,
We (Mr. Rosen and I) had sent you our manuscript for publication and had not authorized you to show it to specialists before it is printed. I see no reason to address the—in any case erroneous—comments of your anonymous expert. On the basis of this incident I prefer to publish the paper elsewhere.
P.S. Mr. Rosen, who has left for the Soviet Union, has authorized me to represent him in this matter.

The paper was finally published in Journal of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

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