The Editor who did not bark

Douglas Fitts dfitts at carson.u.washington.edu
Wed May 26 00:13:23 EST 1993


<FORSDYKE at QUCDN.QueensU.CA> writes:

>THE EDITOR WHO DID NOT BARK IN THE NIGHT

[......]

>Eureka! Why not get one of the new
>softwares, which allow one to set up a paper in formats of each of the
>ten journals and send them in all at once? But the Editorial Policies of
>all the journals state quite clearly that a submitted paper must not be
>under consideration elsewhere. So, of course, I cannot do that.

> But what are the chances of getting caught out if I cheat? Are my
>competitors as squeamish about breaking the rules? Surely, of the many
>hundreds of thousands of authors out, battling in the highly competitive
>world of modern research, there are some who try to stretch the rules?

> How would they be found out?        I suppose, a reviewer might receive
>copies of the same paper from different journal Editors. The reviewer
>might then inform the journals, who would then place the author on some
>sort of internal black list. Would that worry the author? There are
>plenty of more journals out there.

I would be very angry if I received two identical manuscripts to 
review from the same author.  I would say the reviewer WOULD, not might,
rat to the editors.

Beyond this, what happens when one submits the same article to 10 journals
and gets accepted by 5.  The author chooses one to accept, and then has to 
withdraw the accepted article from the other journals.  I'll bet s/he 
would have a difficult time publishing *there* again.


> Why do not Editors, after giving an author appropriate due process,
>formally list the names of authors who have transgressed with the names
>of their institutions? Why do Editors not bark?

Your assumption is that this is a rampant problem.  Why would it be?  It 
seems that the best way to deal with isolated cases is to dispose of 
them firmly but quietly in order to avoid the public perception that the
journal has a "problem" with multiple submissions that could hurt one's 
chances if s/he submits there.  On the other hand, if the editors indeed 
have a rampant problem with this, one *would* wonder why they aren't
barking ***to the moon***.   

Is it possible that a journal editor reads these posts?  

>      Sincerely,  Don Forsdyke, Discussion Leader. Bionet.Journals.Note

Doug Fitts
dfitts at u.washington.edu



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