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Making things easier for editors

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In my last three posts in this series, I investigated ways the peer-review process might be reformed to: Incentivize better behavior by authors: incentivizing the submission of fewer and better papers for review. Incentivize better behavior by reviewers: incentivizing faster and more thoughtful referee reports. Improve turnaround times: giving editors resources to secure reviewers and completed reviews more quickly. In brief, the general proposal I floated is that peer-review might be improved by creating a central peer-review platform--a central interface (perhaps at Philpapers?) which might use a clever author and reviewer scoring system to match new papers with reviewers whose scores are closest to the authors' own. The idea here is, first, that this system would incentivize better author and reviewer behavior, as it would (finally!) create actual incentives to being a good author (submitting papers ready for review) and being a good reviewer (answering being timely in responding to review requests and timely and thoughtful in submitting reviews). The idea then is that this would in turn make things easier on editors, as instead of having to spend copious hours emailing possible referees, etc., the system would recommend reviewers to editors and enable them to send out requests to reviewers who are likely to say yes and do a good job more quickly! At present, this is just a pie-in-the-sky fantasy. However, David Bourget (who co-runs Philpapers/Philpeople) chimed in saying that such a system would actually be quite doable--and I see no reason not to think big. Although the current system of peer-review has some positive features, there are also many things about it that everyone seems to recognize to be suboptimal: authors, reviewers, and editors. We should therefore think creatively about what could be done to make things better for everyone--and I am optimistic that the kind of system outlined above might help a great deal. However, it is. . .

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News source: The Philosophers' Cocoon

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