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asked ago by (1.8k points)
It did happen in math recently, with not just one but two journals retracting acceptance, and people at big-name universities involved. I’ve written a long essay on  it at


–Eric Rasmusen,  Indiana University

1 Answer

+1 vote
answered ago by (840 points)
I guess that depends on your definition of "outside pressure," since you apparently include people on the editorial board of the New York Journal of Mathematics as outside pressure on the New York Journal of Mathematics.

Such "outside pressure" seems to exist also within economics. The following quote is from a review Ken Binmore wrote for the Journal of Economic Methodology (Vol. 18, No. 2, June 2011, 177–181): "[T]he overwhelming majority of our (very large) number of referees were unremittingly hostile to our being published—so hostile that the editor was apparently threatened by a group of his editorial board with being fired if JEBO published our paper"

I want to use the opportunity to express my puzzlement about your essay that seemingly accepts talking points made by some actors in the drama. You write (about I Rivin): "He quickly got two referee reports (rather than the usual one), which were favorable" The sole acceptance letter fom Rivin to Hill reads"Dear Ted, Here is the referee's report. You will note that the referee has a couple of questions - it is not necessary to address these for publication, but if you could add a couple of lines, that would be great! Igor" The referee of the one included report states that they are not a mathematical biologist and recommends to send the paper to an actual mathematical biologist.
commented ago by (1.8k points)
No, they'd be internal. We know  the article's enemies wrote to the NSF and Mathematical Intelligencer. Did they also write to the NYJM? Since the husband of a chief enemy of  the article was on the board, probably yes. The NYJM editors themselves won't comment, and I am told they agreed to keep their deliberations secret.

   The BInmore article is very good, and the J. of Economic Methology has lots of itneresting sounding aritcles. Thanks for brinigng it to my attention.

    I do take Rivin's word for it that he got two referee reports. As you note, one of them was posted by Ted Hill in his 41-page document dump of evidence to back up his side of the story. (The other side has provided zero evidence, by the way, though they possess emails that might back up their story.) I don't know why the other one wasn't in there. Perhaps the referee who wrote it objected.