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The Editor who did not bark

Wed May 26 08:33:31 EST 1993

(Douglas Fitts) replies

>> 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 editor.

    Yes, but I would imagine, except in a very narrow field, the chances of
editors consulting the same reviewer are exceedingly low.

>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.

    Do not agree. There are many excuses an author can offer for withdrawing an
accepted paper.

>> 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***.

   Perhaps, a lot of people are getting away with it? Perhaps, when a case is
identified people prefer not to "rock the boat". Perhaps, scientists are saint-
ly and do not take personally all this new "game theory" stuff (prisoner's
dilemma, penalties for defecting or not-defecting, etc)?

                 Sincerely, Don Forsdyke

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