A guide to the world of h2g2 rejection

5 Conversations

The h2g2 team have given extremely good and helpful guidelines on how to get an article accepted. I don't know how many people have actually read them and taken in their full implications. A number of articles are still being written which will never be accepted.

This prompted vegiman and myself to find a home for the most informative Rejection Slips and here it is. We believe that by reading the reason why articles are rejected, and then reading the articles concerned, it will prompt you as a researcher to write and rewrite your masterpiece in accordance with h2g2's wishes. Hopefully you will receive many accredited articles to your name, using the new found insight that this page attempts to supply.

It would be nice to know which (sub)editor is responsible for the annotation which explains the reason for rejections but the h2g2 team, in their infinite wisdom, wish to keep their names anonymous in case we react with violent tendencies towards them. We would like to think that the sub-editors will read these rejection notices and strive to maintain consistency when accepting/rejecting submitted articles.

Here are some of Vegiman's and mine to get this started. We will add the best of the rejections to this page but as h2g2 state in their email rejection slips (Er, well sort of):
'Don't forget, though, that your Rejection Entry will still come up in User Page searches and that it is still very much a part of the Guide. And don't be put off from submitting more entries for our approval'.

Dear Grahame, (Loonytunes)

Thank you ever so much for submitting your h2g2 Guide Entry entitled Birds and Tigers for the approval of the Editors.
'Birds and Tigers' should probably be treated as separate entries. Clever idea though.

Loony comments. This was an early effort of mine and I see the editor's point. I will rework and resubmit it.

Dear Ken, (vegiman)

Thank you ever so much for submitting your h2g2 Guide Entry entitled The Flies for the approval of the Editors.
There's some excellent information in this one, but I think the topic might need more explanation. When I was reading this, I was confused, 'surely mosquitoes are not flies', I thought. I think people associate flies with houseflies, so if you could make the distinctions clearer, we'd be happy to reconsider. Please let us know what you think.'

Remarks from vegiman:
Mosquitoes are flies, which shows that the h2g2 team are not infallible. Lesson learnt: If you are writing about something where there may be a popular belief involved which is erroneous - explain yourself fully.

Loonytunes writes:

I have deleted the Help rename the @ symbol email but it basically said an entry should introduce the subject, explain it and go on to raise interesting points.

Loonytunes comments:
I had great hopes for this one. It participated in the first 'Fun Run' which means it was critiqued by various researchers before being submitted. I believe its unusual structure worked against it.

Dear Ken,

As requested, we have surveyed your submission to The Guide entitled Fruit and veggies - UK and found it worthy of rejection.

My sub-editor wrote:

'As Vegiman himself writes, this is a forum and very much a "work in progress" rather than a publishable article. A finished work on the health benefits of fruit and vegetables in the diet would be very welcome, though!'

Remarks from vegiman:
This was an early attempt on my behalf to do an interactive response,(I got only one response) something which Mark Moxom now supports - I was ahead of my time - I may revive this article sometime and push it. As for Mark's request for an article on FandV benefits - I will do it one day, when time allows. I have been too busy helping others get their articles accepted, I am not a prolific writer myself.'

Dear Grahame,

I really liked this one, but it's more an opinion on Broadcasters than an article that provides other researchers with information about it, and therefore works better as a user page.

Grahame's comments:
This was written as a bit of mickey-taking and I agree with the rejection. A lot of entries awaiting approval/rejection are opinion and as with this one will be rejected. The editors want factual entries.

And here are four recently supplied by Ginger The Feisty

Dear Lynne,

As requested, we have surveyed your submission to The Guide entitled Gloucester, England and found it worthy of rejection. The comment from my sub-editor was:

If you could write a more factual one about Gloucester we would accept it. This is good fun, but what else is there in Gloucester? The writing was good, the html was good, so perhaps you could add to it and resubmit? (This entry has been rewritten and resubmitted).

Dear Lynne,

As requested, we have surveyed your submission to The Guide entitled Accountants and found it worthy of rejection. Sorry to get round to this one late, but I've already told you the reason and I won't harp on about it (mea culpa at the end of the day). The sub-editor concerned thought this was a bit too much about how accountants are human without actually telling us anything about what an accountant is... which is a fair comment. Sorry about the rejection.

Dear Lynne,

As requested, we have surveyed your submission to The Guide entitled Under The Sofa and found it worthy of rejection. Very true. But one-liners aren't really what the official guide is all about...

Dear Lynne,

As requested, we have surveyed your submission to The Guide entitled Agony Aunts and found it worthy of rejection. He he. Good stuff, this, but it's really just an article based round a few jokes. Don't think I'm being a miserable sod, will you Ginger... but it doesn't fit into the new guidelines. Sorry.

All rejections are signed by Mark Moxon. Editor, h2g2

Point of explanation: Most of these articles were written and submitted in the early days of h2g2 when researchers were not sure of the guidelines as to what made a great guide entry. They are posted for your information. The standard of Ginger's, vegiman's and my submitted articles are greatly improved these days. Maybe.

A common query. How long before I know if my article has been rejected/accepted?

My longest wait for rejection was 17 weeks. I have had an article accepted in 7 weeks. As more and more sub editors are being taken on board I imagine these times will shorten considerably.

Please post all comments and copies of any rejection slips, substantially different to the ones posted above, in the text editor supplied below. Selected rejection notices will be periodically added to the original list.

Thanks, Loonytunes.

More rejection slips and responses can be found here

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