Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

What if Authors could Respond to Referee Comments?

Philosophy News image
I'm sure any academics reading this can relate to the following experience: despite one referee's glowing report, your paper is rejected on the basis of referee 2's confident "devastating objection," which in fact involves a simple misunderstanding that you could easily correct in a sentence or two, if given the chance.  But of course you are not given the chance: the top journals are overloaded with submissions, so tend to outright reject any paper that doesn't receive uniformly positive peer reviews.It's a frustrating (and frustratingly common) experience for the author.  But it also contributes to the systemic overburdening of journals, as the author now needs to (perhaps make minor tweaks and then) send their paper out to a new journal, which must find all new referees.  It would've been more efficient if the original journal could have disregarded the confused report, and just sought the one replacement referee.How could the journal know that the report was confused?  Well, suppose that before rendering their verdict on your paper, the editors invited you to (briefly!) address the referee reports, indicating any major points of disagreement, and (roughly) what changes you'd make to it if given the opportunity for revisions.  The editors would then make their final decision in light of both the referee reports and the author response.This would require substantive philosophical judgment on the part of the editors, to adjudicate the inevitable disagreements between authors and referees (as does the current system, one would hope, when referees recommend diverging verdicts).  Often they'd opt to reject anyway, no doubt.  But other times the author's case might be sufficiently clear-cut that the editors are able and willing to disregard a confused referee report.  And that could be a good thing all around, if the new referee recommends acceptance: better for the author, certainly, but also better for the profession. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: Philosophy, et cetera

blog comments powered by Disqus