A journal drop-down menu for selecting a person's title has four options but none of them are Mr.

enter image description here

(I definitely scrolled down enough.)

As a male, non-PhD holder should I select Mx., or is this a mistake by the journal?

  • 8
    Can you provide a link? – henning -- reinstate Monica Jul 19 '18 at 18:01
  • 42
    Mx = maxwells, unit of flux. – GEdgar Jul 20 '18 at 0:16
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    @Najib Idrissi I learned something from the question. – henning -- reinstate Monica Jul 20 '18 at 10:46
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    I think required these title questions are ridiculous, especially in academic contexts. I always select either “Miss” or “His Holiness”. – JeffE Jul 20 '18 at 13:29
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    For what it's worth, are you sure this is a real journal? It seems likely that such a problem would have been caught and fixed long ago for a real journal and would only persist on a predatory/fake one. It might even be a filter, like the bad grammar in Nigerian prince scams, to drive away submissions from people who'd quickly realize it's a scam. – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Jul 21 '18 at 13:56

Mx is a gender-neutral honorific. It's probably not a typo.

Dr would typically be used if you have a doctoral degree, and Prof if you are employed in a professor-like capacity (it means different things in different countries, but generally any semi-permanent faculty job is reasonably included). Otherwise, you can decide which of Ms and Mx fits you better.

If you feel that there isn't an option that's appropriate for you, you can take it up with the journal.

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  • 96
    Not including Mr. does seem like an oversight, especially since Ms. is included. – Thomas Jul 19 '18 at 17:06
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    @Thomas - indeed, be gender neutral if one wants, but to put up Ms. and Mx. as the two options seems to negate gender neutral status for Mx. – Jon Custer Jul 19 '18 at 17:31
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    Or this is the deepest act of chauvanism ever and men are assumed to all have PhDs? – virmaior Jul 20 '18 at 5:40
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    @Polygnome "Master" is not a title in the same way Dr. and Mr. are. – Tobias Kildetoft Jul 20 '18 at 8:42
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    @Polygnome As far as I am aware, it is not, no. Getting a master's degree does not mean people ought to refer to you as master lastname (as cool as that would be). – Tobias Kildetoft Jul 20 '18 at 9:03

Since no one else answered your actual questions:

Is Mx. the default title for [m]ale non-[P]h[D] holders?


it is not. It's a recent gender-neutral form of the usual English titles Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms which might be allowed for those not wishing to signal or accept a binary gender. It's not standard, and Mr. remains much more common. More common still would be for an untitled person to simply be untitled.

This use seems bizarre to the point of inviting a sex-discrimination lawsuit. They require that you provide a title, with lower-level academics forced to declare themselves either female or other. The only rationale for such a setup besides trolling (cismen who complain have their applications filed circularly) would be if they intend to assign extra credit to applications by self-declared women.

As a male... non-PhD holder should I select Mx... or is this a mistake by the journal?

Yes, you should select it if you plan to continue your application, despite knowing your gender will probably hurt your chances.

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  • 2
    Or they meant to remove all gendered options and forgot one of them... – Tobias Kildetoft Jul 20 '18 at 13:58
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    I don't really see anything in Nate's answer that disagrees with me here, as he does not make any guesses about why Ms is there while Mr is not. – Tobias Kildetoft Jul 20 '18 at 14:51
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    -1 for the gratuitous rant that they're going to "discriminate against men" without any evidence. It's more likely that they wrongly deemed Prof. a masculine honorific applicable to any non-PhD-holding man in this context, and for the recommendation to choose Mx if it's not a title the OP uses. – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Jul 21 '18 at 13:43
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    @R.. You're welcome to prove my point by circular binning my post while going on a gratuitous rant about a straightforward analysis, but you'd get further by suggesting any alternative reason for such an obviously sexist required field in your own answer to OP. – lly Jul 21 '18 at 13:49
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    (No, "Ms" for "Master of Science" is not remotely plausible, pending some thorough evidence of its use in some other language that led to its appearance here.) – lly Jul 21 '18 at 13:52

Based on the context, the options most likely are:

  • Dr: Doctor (PhD)
  • Ms: usually written MSc (master of science)
  • Prof: Professor
  • Mx: Ms/Mr/x (no academic degree/title)

So you would fall either under Ms or Mx depending on your level of education.

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  • 33
    I don't think this is correct. These are titles, not degrees, so MSc would also not be a possible option. And I don't see any reason to assume that this journal would include specifically MSc (spelled in a massively incorrect way) and not other master's degrees, such as MA. – Tobias Kildetoft Jul 20 '18 at 8:02
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    Do you imply that MA (master of arts) can not send manuscript to the journal? – scaaahu Jul 20 '18 at 8:18
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    The possibility of bad conversion does not explain why the list of titles would include a degree. – Tobias Kildetoft Jul 20 '18 at 8:27
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    We don't know what field the OP of the question is in, so we don't know if MA/MBA holders are not likely to send manuscripts. I think your answer will make sense if you say MS means Masters degree holder (i.e. take out master of science) – scaaahu Jul 20 '18 at 8:38
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    It's a good thought, but the field is clearly for a title, and I can't find any evidence of "Ms." as a title for someone with a master's degree, at all. And my, wouldn't it be confusing (given the other meaning of the title "Ms."). – T.J. Crowder Jul 20 '18 at 10:55

I personally understand it like this:

  1. Dr => Doctors (PhD, medicine.. we czechs have Mudr, PaeDr, etc.)
  2. Ms => Masters (of Science, Art, Business, etc)
  3. Mx => Gender specific (Mr, Ms, Mrs)
  4. Prof => Professors (and maybe candidates?)

I do not necessarily see it as a flaw per se as it seems logical to divide per earned title. Just a bit unclear spec..

It is flawed by the idea of having Ms understood as Miss instead of M-s, but other than this it is completely logical!

Small advice:

Tell the official to clear things out by giving a hint.

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  • 19
    "Ms" is not being understood as "Miss", it is being understood as "Ms", which is a common title (at least where I come from) for women who do not want to signal their marital status. I have never seen Ms used as a title for "somebody who holds a masters degree", though I guess it is possible that is used that way somewhere... – Flyto Jul 20 '18 at 12:13
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    'it seems logical to divide per earned title': except that you do not acquire a new title for a masters. Ms is the title for some women, and absolutely nothing to do with academia. – Jessica B Jul 20 '18 at 15:51

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