Academic publications are judged, mainly, on two grounds: correctness and importance. A paper which contains incorrect statements should, unquestionably, be rejected from publication. However, importance is a more subjective issue. Typical rejection message related to importance are:
- "You present a new problem and solve it correctly, but the new problem is not very useful".
- "Your paper deals with a specific topic and it is not sufficiently general to be published".
- "Your results are correct but they are not surprising; the proofs are not technically challening."
Evidently, importance is subjective: what seems "useful"/"general"/"challenging" to one person, may seem the opposite to another person.
My question is: when I review a paper (assuming it is correct), what should I do when I feel the paper is not sufficiently "important"?
If it were my paper, I would certainly want the everyone to see its importance. So, based on rules such as: "love thy neighbor as thyself" ("ואהבת לרעך כמוך"), "love your friend's property as your own" ("יהי ממון חברך חביב עליך כשלך") and especially "love your friend's honor as your own" ("יהי כבוד חברך חביב עליך כשלך"), apparently I must consider the paper I am reviewing as important, too. Hence, I should recommend to accept it (again, assuming it is correct).
Is this reasoning correct?