MEST paper rejected :-(

Our first attempt for a MEST paper was rejected. This is not very bad since we got some useful feedback and really encouraging comments from the two out of three referees, who also suggested that the paper be accepted. The third reviewer not only rejected the paper but did not even give us any useful feedback. I think that this is really unprofessional. When I am asked to review for academic journals/conferences/workshops, I spend a lot of time on each paper and give lots of feedback to the authors no matter whether I agree with the technical content of the paper or not.

It’s obvious that the third reviewer did not agree with our arguments but that is not a reason for the lack of feedback and a justification for the rejection. I am really displeased by this since I expect to be treated in a similar way I treat others. I am surprised that a reviewer for such a prestigious conference, like the one to which we submitted, didn’t say more about our effort. Here’s the only comment he wrote:

“It has been proved in the past that procedure calls and messages are the duals of each other and I and others in the industry have been implementing service oriented architectures using both styles for eons. I simply fail to see what is novel or new in what you are proposing.”

Perhaps I don’t have enough experience on how the peer review process works but I was expecting more. Obviously it was our fault for not making sure that our point was understood even by sceptics like this reviewer. Of course we never suggested that the RPC abstraction cannot be implemented using messages or that the industry has been waiting until MEST to build service-oriented system.

No bad feelings though. The feedback from the others reviewers was good and we can use it to make the paper better. Something that Jim and I were planning to do was to write a formal description of MEST, in a similar way REST is described, so we can use this rejection as an intensive to do just that.

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