Opinion 176: The SIAM and AMS councils did the right thing when they decided that due to COVID-19, all submitted papers to their "prestigious" journals would be automatically accepted, without any "peer review"

By Doron Zeilberger

Written: April 1, 2020.

These are extraordinary times, very stressful to all of us. One of the usual major stresses of an academic is that the paper that he or she worked so hard on for several months would be rejected by a "peer reviewed" journal, often by "peers" who completely misunderstood both the actual content and the broader impact.

Hence, since there is only so much stress that even a professor can take, adding the usual stress to today's immense stress, may cause an overload, and it was predicted by a rigorous mathematical model solicited by SIAM president, that quite a few mathematicians will "crack up", not from the virus, but from the combined stress of the fear of being rejected and the fear of dying from the virus.

Since there is nothing, so far, that even SIAM or the AMS can do to ease the new stress, these organizations should be praised for their brave decision to relieve the "fear of rejection" stress at least until the virus fear in eliminated.

But, as is true with "remote learning" via the internet, that we are all doing right now, that turned out to be much more effective than good-old traditional classroom teaching, that made many universities decide to adopt this permanently, it would be nice if SIAM and AMS would also make this wise, stress-relieving, decision be permanent, and none of us will ever have to fear the humiliating and very often completely erroneous rejection based on referee reports by "expert" peers.

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