I’ve noticed that when you submit a paper on the Kluwer on-line system, they’ve started asking you if you’ve submitted the paper elsewhere. That seems an odd question to ask. I was submitting a paper that had been rejected from somewhere else, but I was kind of reluctant to admit to that while submitting it somewhere else. Partly, that’s because of the psychological pull of the completely unreliable ‘X rejected Y, therefore Y wasn’t good enough for X’ rule, and so admitting the paper’s been previously rejected seems to be admitting something detrimental about its worth, when you want the journal you’re submitting to to think it’s a good paper.
Of course, all you need to do is create a context where strict counterpart relations are invoked and you can answer ‘no’. “I haven’t submitted this paper elsewhere, because I changed footnote 16 since the last time I submitted a similar paper.” And that just increases the sense that this is a silly question to be asking – since the answer given will depend not only just on the history of the world but on the answerer’s beliefs concerning the persistence conditions of papers.
Does anyone know why Kluwer are asking this, and how the information gets used? Any comments on whether it’s a good or bad idea to ask?