Re. Can journals monopolize science?

Tom Schneider toms at fcsparc6.ncifcrf.gov
Sun May 30 13:39:16 EST 1993


In article <1u9016INNqjo at news.u.washington.edu> dfitts at carson.u.washington.edu
(Douglas Fitts) writes:

| *I* can't rewrite a manuscript according to a new journal's format without
| fiddling with it.  Can you?

NOPE!!!  :-)

>With all its faults, we need to keep the peer review system intact rather
>than turning the onus of reviews over to paid professional reviewers who
>may never have done any research.

Unfortunately, this is happening!  Nature and Science now have a policy of
pre-review by their editorial staffs.  These folks, "who may never have done
any research", decide what papers go out for review.  So I send them papers and
they haven't the faintest idea what I'm working on - so they send the paper
right back without review.  I now believe that these folks, who are not really
following any particular scientific field closely, are stiffling new work
because they simply don't understand it.  If it goes out to review, then there
is a chance that new material will be fairly treated.  (Ha!  Ha!  Haaaaaa!  Ugh
I'm going to be sick.  Reviewers also don't know basic science these days.  In
one case a reviewer didn't know a simple definition of a 'bit' - in this age of
computers, no less - and another didn't know the second law of thermo even
though they claim to be a physicist!  Bleeuch.  Sorry I made that mess on your
keyboard. &-)

I think that Nature and Science (and Cell it turns out) should go back to
sending papers out for review and letting editors be editors.

  Tom Schneider
  National Cancer Institute
  Laboratory of Mathematical Biology
  Frederick, Maryland  21702-1201
  toms at ncifcrf.gov

ps: the second law is expressed as dS>=dq/T.



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