### The publication system: a jaundiced view

#### Ian Stewart and John Jaworski

This is the paper that *X* wrote.

This is the editor, all distraught,

Who tore his hair at the horrible thought

Of printing the paper *X* wrote.

This is the friend whose help was sought,

By *E*, the editor, all distraught,

Who tore his hair and groaned at the thought

Of the horrible paper *X* wrote.

This is the proof, all shiny and new,

Of 2.1 and 2.2

Conceived by *F*, whose help was sought

By *E*, the editor, all distraught,

Who tore his hair and groaned at the thought

Of the odious paper *X* wrote.

This Covering Note pretends to be

Detached about the referee.

("He doesn't tell you how to fix

The proof of Theorem 2.6.")

It quotes the Referee's Report

Which says Such Things are Better Short

And gives the proof, all shiny and new,

Of 2.1 and 2.2

Proposed by *F*, whose help was sought

By *E*, the editor, all distraught,

Who tore his hair and groaned at the thought

Of the pitiful paper *X* wrote.

"But we are sure it can be mended;

If wholly changed it could be splendid."

Typing on a new machine,

*F* answers for his magazine.
Signed *E*_{1} = *F*_{2} = *X*_{3}.