Gatekeepers of Knowledge: Journal Editors in the Sciences and the Social Sciences

Gatekeepers of Knowledge: Journal Editors in the Sciences and the Social Sciences

Gatekeepers of Knowledge: Journal Editors in the Sciences and the Social Sciences

Gatekeepers of Knowledge: Journal Editors in the Sciences and the Social Sciences

Synopsis

What are journal editors looking for in a manuscript? This fascinating book is built around interviews with thirty-five scholarly journal editors, revealing the crucial issues that inform the work of these important players in the realm of scholarly communication.

Excerpt

With the personification of his destiny to guide and aid him, the hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the "threshold guardian" at the entrance to the zone of magnified power. Such custodians bound the world in the four directions--also up and down--standing for the limits of the hero's present sphere, or life horizon.

--Joseph Campbell (1968)

This study examines the professional and personal experiences of scholarly journal editors. My aim is to explore, based on their own perceptions, the careers and the work of journal editors. Interviews that I conducted with thirty-five journal editors from the sciences and the social sciences provided the data for this study.

The journal editor acts as a gatekeeper by funneling manuscripts in one direction or another or rejecting material entirely. in this way, the journal editor has an impact on the professional life of every scholar, because the establishment of scholarly credentials is crucial in higher education. This credentialing, a system handed down from the guild tradition of the Middle Ages, carries with it financial and other supporting incentives that allow scholars the freedom to pursue their individual interests. This is the case when funding agencies examine publication records to determine grant awards.

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