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Professional Manuscript/Proposal Review Service

Never speak more clearly than you understand yourself. -- Anonymous

Professional Review Service

Do you have a manuscript in the field of astronomy (including gravity and relativity) for which you need a professional review? Informed feedback? Advice about publishing? Proposal evaluation? Book review? Or perhaps you need some research done?

Because Meta Research is open to new ideas and replacement theories that challenge the mainstream, we receive far more requests for such reviews than we can manage. Until now, we have used a set of "quick look" criteria to determine which are worth a closer look, and which may be worth a careful review.

Well over 90% of contributions received are never reviewed beyond the quick look. Contributors who get any reply at all usually get no more than our General Advice letter, reproduced at the end of this page. This has served Meta Research's interests, given our limitations of staff and funding. But it has probably not served the interests of the community at large. People who go to the trouble of writing up their ideas usually want open-minded feedback. If the idea is flawed, they would like to see the problem identified. If the idea is salvageable, they would like specific advice about how to proceed.

Meta Research is therefore instituting a professional manuscript review service, with fees high enough to pay for the time of a professional, qualified reviewer. To be eligible, the manuscript must be in English and in the field of observational or theoretical (but not instrumental) astronomy (including gravity and relativity). The result of the review will generally be advice. This will usually include an opinion about the merit of the underlying idea, together with specifics about its strengths and weaknesses. And it will usually include an opinion about the effectiveness of the presentation, such as how hard or easy it is to understand, what illustrations work and what others may be needed, where omitted citations are needed, etc. If applicable, we will include steps needed to make the manuscript publication-worthy, and recommend a magazine or journal for it. For manuscripts already publication-worthy, we may offer to print it in the Meta Research Bulletin or recommend the manuscript to the editor of another publication. Our reviews may be quoted freely and even published with the manuscript.

If you need research done or research assistance, send us a proposal to receive a quote on the estimated cost and time needed for completion.

The document to be reviewed should be submitted by email if at all possible, in an editable format (ASCII, MS Word, RTF; but not PDF or PS, which are treated the same as typescript). There is no length limit (i.e., book manuscripts are okay too). We may decline to review any manuscript if we feel we do not have the proper expertise or cannot be of proper assistance to the author, in which case the review fee is refunded in full. But please note the following services and fee structure, payable in advance of the review once the manuscript has been accepted for review:

Basic review service (email)

$0.10 per word, minimum $75 per manuscript

Premium for typescript

$0.05 per word

Premium for handwritten

$0.10 per word

Reduced cost after 1st 3000 words

$0.06 per word

Reduced cost after 1st 10,000 words

$0.04 per word

High-detail review**

double the above

Priority review (15-30 days)**

double the above

**A high-detail review includes paragraph-by-paragraph commentary as appropriate.

**A priority review is mutually exclusive with a high-detail review. It will move ahead of all non-priority reviews. That means it will normally be completed within days, but may require up to 30 days for book-length manuscripts or when our offices are closed for expeditions. The review period usually begins on the next date our offices are open following receipt of the manuscript, assuming we agree to review it.

Make email submissions and inquiries to: <tomvf@metaresearch.org>.

Send surface mail submissions to:

Meta Research

PO Box 3504

Sequim WA 98382-5040

Fax inquiries or short manuscripts (10 pages maximum) to: 866/758-3792.

Payment Methods:

** Fax Visa/MasterCard/Discover info to Meta Research at 866/758-3792.

** Provide order and credit card information via email, perhaps with the number divided into two parts split between two separate messages (if you wish) for security reasons.

** Send on-line payment via PayPal [https://www.paypal.com] to tomvf@metaresearch.org.

** Send a check or other instrument or credit card information to our mailbox at: Meta Research / PO Box 3604 / Sequim WA 98382-5040.

** Phone the payment information to our Sequim WA office at 360/504-1169 between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

 

General Advice to Colleagues Seeking Help

As an organization dedicated to challenging mainstream paradigms, we are often sent or asked to review material from others that purports to do the same. It is a sad commentary on science that there are so few working scientists or organizations willing to give a serious review to such works. But as one of the few, we receive more such material than we can possibly review, much less provide feedback. So (with much regret) we are forced to respond with this form letter to provide some suggestions about what to do next.

Some peer-reviewed journals now accept unorthodox or non-mainstream models or ideas for publication. The leading ones are Physics Essays <http://www.physicsessays.com> for general physics, Apeiron <http://redshift.vif.com> for cosmology, Galilean Electrodynamics [141 Rhinecliff St., Arlington, VA 02476-7331] for relativity, and our own Meta Research Bulletin (MRB) <http://metaresearch.org> for astronomy research. Each has its own specializations and criteria.

To get a paper considered for MRB in particular, a familiarity with the models and the criteria of Scientific Method, for example as presented in Tom Van Flandern's book Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Comets (North Atlantic Book, 1993; 2nd edition 1999), will usually be needed. A complimentary MRB issue and subscription information are available on request. Include a mailing address. Articles that fail any of the following checkpoints are unlikely to be considered.

An author must demonstrate a thorough familiarity with any mainstream model being criticized, including an understanding of why the standard model is accepted by the world experts. Failing to understand a standard model the way the experts understand it virtually guarantees a failure to communicate with those experts. Even if the replacement model were superior, a failure to communicate would usually doom it to obscurity.

An author must show that a new model meets the three criteria of Scientific Method: It must not be contradicted by existing observation or experiment. It must add insight and understanding into the workings of nature, evident to persons other than the author. And it must make distinguishing short-term predictions unlikely to be verified by chance, the failure of which will falsify the model.

Assumptions or starting points must be justified by citation to the literature, by observation or experiment, or by logical argument from generally accepted premises. Beauty and simplicity are too often in the eye of the beholder, and everybody has inspirations. Leaps of faith in any logical step will disqualify a theory from further consideration in the scientific arena. Statistical arguments must be of the a priori type, as opposed to a posteriori. (True, some mainstream models don’t meet these criteria. But that’s no excuse for a challenger.)

Cite the most relevant books and articles and indicate agreement or disagreement. But do not expect another person to champion your ideas for you. No matter how important your ideas seem, good ideas are so plentiful that every scientist whose name is before the public is deluged with more than he can handle – the better known the scientist, the greater the deluge.

Try out your ideas in the appropriate USENET newsgroups on the Internet, where you can get plenty of immediate feedback. See especially sci.astro and closely related newsgroups. But never expect praise. Articles are published in science for the express purpose of inviting criticism. Only the rare survivor of this criticism can have lasting value.

Finally, if you need a fee-based professional review service, see the top of this page for details.

We hope that something among these suggestions will help you reach your scientific goals.

Meta Research

 
 
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