Academic journal article Journal of Information Ethics

Problems with Peer Review, Part II *

Academic journal article Journal of Information Ethics

Problems with Peer Review, Part II *

Article excerpt

The peer review process is so problematic that it would take a conference to sort out all of the intricacies. Indeed, the American Meical Association has sponsored three such gatherings! Nevertheless, the problems do not go away. Many years ago, a colleague and I sent out a paper to a prestigious, peer-reviewed journal in a distant discipline. We waited. After six months of silence, my coauthor called the editor, who explained that he had the paper sitting on his filing cabinet but that he did not know whom to choose to review the piece. He promised to get back to us very soon. The next day he called back with an acceptance. In due course, the massive statistical survey appeared. Temporal constraint and logic indicate that, in this case, the peer review process was subverted.

More recently, another colleague and I produced a statistical survey and sent it to a di∂erent refereed publication. After some months without any reply, I called the editor. She informed me that the piece had not arrived. (My half century experience with the United States mail service has been exemplary.) I resent it. Once again, I waited and then called. The editorial assistant said that she "should have contacted" me because upon receipt, the reviewer discovered a connecting name and recused himself. …

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