Professional philosophy news

Journal refereeing is rarely blind

Claims Berit Brogaard (Missouri-Saint Louis) over at NewAPPS. (Current comment count: 28)

The turn-around time for journals is horrific. But you knew that before submitting the piece. Referees can be terrible: Some don’t bother to read the paper carefully. Others provide idiotic or arrogant comments and evidently know nothing about the subject matter. But you knew that, too, before hitting the “send” button. You couldn’t have been more prepared. In fact, one of your advisers taught you that if referees are ignorant or foolish, don’t blame them. Anticipate stupidity. It’s YOUR job to make your work resistant to idiocy.

What you didn’t know (and probably still don’t) is that your rejection may have been partially based on the fact that you are a newcomer at a crappy university that no one has ever heard of. Or maybe you are one of those other underprivileged in the field implicitly considered less intelligent than the inner circle.


One response to “Journal refereeing is rarely blind

  1. Allen Wood December 24, 2012 at 2:20 am

    I cannot agree with this, coming from a journal editor. It is the job of editors to choose competent referees, then get them somehow (by reminding them, by cajoling them, whatever works) to do their reports thoughtfully and on time. This is a difficult task, but it is no good for an editor to blame the victim and advise newcomers to the field that they have to learn to write for idiots. If an editor cannot get competent referees for a paper, then he or she should do the refereeing him- or herself, and then the idiocy is the editor’s.


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