Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Getting out of Dodge

Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Getting out of Dodge

Article excerpt

This issue features two articles, one of them by the Report's editor. That article prompted considerable discussion among members of our editorial committee--not only about the merits of the article itself, but about whether publishing the editor is a good idea. We had two concerns. The first was that publishing an article by the editor might imply that his views represent some kind of "official" position of the Report or The Hastings Center; the second was that publishing the person who directs the selection process for Report publication might look--as our art director put it--a bit dodgy. In the end, we set aside both concerns.

The Report has a long history of publishing its editors, and likewise publishers and editorial committee members. Part of the rationale for this practice is that the Report has always been as much literary magazine as journal, and for a literary magazine, publishing staff is unexceptionable. Still, since we want our articles to meet the standards of peer review, explaining how the staff gets articles into our pages demands some explanation of our review and selection process. The editor reads all submissions, and further review is at his discretion. If he decides an article-length manuscript should be considered for publication, then it undergoes further review to gauge its quality and how it contributes to the existing literature on that topic. We usually seek one outside review, although sometimes we'll look for more. When we can, we pair the outside review with an assessment by a Hastings Center associate. If the opinions are favorable, the editorial committee then reads it, discusses it, and makes a recommendation. Very few manuscripts reach this stage, and even fewer survive it. We accept only about 10 percent of the article manuscripts we receive.

This review process can be tedious for authors, but it ensures quality. …

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