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Author's Rights

Mon Dec 28 15:00:41 EST 1992

  The Discussion so far has been in the context of the first "right" as listed
in my first entry (ref.1):

"1.Judgements concerning the acceptance, reviewing and publication of a
paper should be concerned with the characteristics of the paper itself
and not with the race, sex, creed or colour of the author."

  David Kristofferson (ref.2) realized some of the difficulties in reformulat-
ing a paper so that the authors name was not available. Alan Baxter (ref.3)
pointed out that past reputation of an author can count both positively and
negatively. However, there is one example of bias which is very blatent and
could be addressed. The following example will serve to make the point.

  The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA requires prospective
authors to submit papers to academy members for reviewing. The member then
formally submits the paper to the journal on the author's behalf. On three
occasions over the past two decades I have written to academy members in my
area of expertise asking if they would handle the reviewing of my papers. On
each occasion I was told that they could only submit 6 papers per year and
these submission opportunities were wanted for their own papers or were
"promised" to others. Thus, publication in PNAS is largely a closed shop and
does not comply with the above principle 1 of a proposed charter of authors'
rights. The remedy would be simply for the academy to require that members
NOT submit papers from their own laboratories, or on behalf of those with whom
they have a personal relationship which might lead to bias.

                                                  Don Forsdyke
                                                  Discussion Leader

(1) Forsdyke, D. R. (1992) Bionet.Journals.Note 1221, 1105
(2) Christoffersen, D. (1992) Bionet.Journals.Note 1222, 1631
(3) Baxter, A. (1992) Bionet.Journals.Note 1224, 750/

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