Another rejection from the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports in my Inbox. I am not worried about the rejection itself, but once more time, about the very poor comments from the Editor, Stephen Harridge. Paper not even sent for review.
Here are the comments from the Section Editor [with my responses in Italics]
In this study the authors claim that training loads at certain intensities modified resting heart rate variability (HRV).
There are several studies on this issue: [Actually, there is NO study in elite athletes, and NO study on proper training load over a training program (not just a single exercise)]
and so far it seems that HRV assessment with 5-6 min recordings is rather imprecise and highly variable. A more extended recording (overnight for example) will represent much better HRV [1) this possible greater variability has still to be shown, and 2) considering the sleep stage-dependency of HRV and the direct effect on HRV of both sleep quality and physical activity the day before, I believe that standardized resting (morning) measures – less affected by prior activity the day before – will be less variables. In short, even he could be right, the editor statement is NOT based on scientific evidences.]
Unfortunately, no effort has been made to determine with other methods if parasympathetic/sympathetic balance was really modified. [Do you have many alternative methods to use on elite athletes (Olympic champions)?]
There was no control group: [fine but: 1) we used is a within-subjects modelling approach, so controls are not required. 2) how do you built a control group to compare against Elite athletes?]
The discussion is too speculative and the conclusions as well.” [NO comments]
At the bottom of the letter, you can read:
“Thank you for considering the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports for the publication of your research. I hope the outcome of this specific submission will not discourage you from submitting other papers to the journal in the future.
Yours sincerely, Stephen Harridge, Editor-in-Chief. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports”
[Stephen, we have a problem. And this is not new (see previous stories, where positive reviewers’ comments were disregarded and where we were criticized for not blinding a cold bath). Stephen, you can now be sure that you managed to discourage us from submitting other papers to the journal in the future.]