Re. Can journals monopolize science?

Marc Roussel mroussel at alchemy.chem.utoronto.ca
Sun May 30 13:04:14 EST 1993


In article <1u9016INNqjo at news.u.washington.edu> dfitts at carson.u.washington.edu
(Douglas Fitts) writes:
>| Song-Muh Jong
>| sjj at icbr.ifas.ufl.edu
>
>| Although it sounds more work if a reviewer gets more than one copy
>| of the manuscript from the same authors, it is actually a minimal
>| amount of work because a reviewer only reads the manuscript once
>| no matter how many copies he/she receives from journals.
>
>As I've argued elsewhere in this thread, handling scientific manuscript 
>publication the way New York publishers handle book or magazine 
>submissions would be disastrous.  Allowing multiple submissions would
>cause a revolt among volunteer peer reviewers who would come to see this 
>as a tax on their precious time.

     A point which everyone seems to have ignored is that multiple submissions
would actually increase the amount of reviewing to do.  (I think that
Douglas may be aware of this, but he didn't make it plain.)  If all
copies of the one manuscript go to the same set of referees, then as
Song-Muh suggests, it wouldn't make any difference.  In general however,
this wouldn't happen.  Each of us would receive more articles, only a
subset of which would be published, regardless of our reviews.  As
Douglas wrote, this would be an unfair and unacceptable tax on our time.
     Another point which has been ignored is that a referee's power to
say "No, but..." would be diluted.  Currently, suggestions to improve a
manuscript carry a lot of weight because of the time involved in new
submissions.  Under a parallel submission process, some authors would use a
scattergun approach to submission and publish in the journal with the
least demanding referees.

				Marc R. Roussel
                                mroussel at alchemy.chem.utoronto.ca



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