[JoPP-Public] Improving peer review for JoPP

Christian Siefkes christian at siefkes.net
Tue Mar 27 12:54:57 CEST 2012

Hi Mathieu and all,

On 03/26/2012 04:17 PM, Mathieu ONeil wrote:
> Openness undoubtedly has great virtues, but in the case of academic
> publishing it can also generate some bad side-effects.
> For this issue of JoPP five papers were sent out for review. Three of the
> papers will be published with reviews and signals. Two other papers were not
> great. Reviewers worked long and hard to address shortcomings and make
> suggestions.
> One author decided that it would not be possible to make these adjustments
> though much time kept being added.
> The other agreed to make changes but then used the time excuse as well as
> sickness.
> There is nothing preventing either author from now submitting their
> much-improved papers to another journal...
> In my view, we should try to address this obvious waste of reviewer (and
> editorial) work/energy.

hmm, isn't this a problem of being (maybe) not open enough instead of being
too open? In the experience from my own academic this, this is a quite
possible scenario in the traditional peer review process: reviewers send
criticism and suggestions, the author might then revise the paper and send
back a revised version, or submit the revised version elsewhere. Especially
if a paper is re-submitted by multiple journals (after being refused -- with
reviewer feedback -- by each of them), it would cause reviewers a lot of
work. (Say if there are 3 reviewers per paper and you submit it sequentially
to 4 journals, you would already occupy a dozen reviewers, while none of
them would benefit of the work already done by others, since they don't know
about it.) Also, if you re-submit a text sufficiently often, it becomes more
and more likely to be accepted somewhere by pure chance, almost regardless
of the quality of the paper, I would presume.

The only chance to avoid that would be more openness, not less, i.e.
publishing all versions of a paper from the first submitted one (or, at
least, the last negotiated version of each paper), without allowing the
authors to pull out. Not sure if we want to go this way, but blaming
"openness" for the shortcomings of the current approach strikes my as
definitively wrong.

Best regards

|------- Dr. Christian Siefkes ------- christian at siefkes.net -------
| Homepage: http://www.siefkes.net/ | Blog: http://www.keimform.de/
|    Peer Production Everywhere:       http://peerconomy.org/wiki/
|---------------------------------- OpenPGP Key ID: 0x346452D8 --
UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that
would also stop you from doing clever things.
        -- Doug Gwyn

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