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Re. Why do journals monopolize manuscripts?

Wed May 26 14:54:00 EST 1993

Dave Kristofferson wrote:
>dfitts at carson.u.washington.edu (Douglas Fitts) writes:
>>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.
>This should raise a few feathers 8-) ...  Philosophically speaking,
>what happens when a good student applies to ten universities and gets
>accepted by nine???  The other eight activate their blacklist, right
>8-)?  Just out of curiosity, why do journals get a monopoly right on
>submitted manuscripts?  I realize that they have simply created this
>policy, but it seems like authors are bowwing to the monopoly power of
>the press.  What advantage does it give to the researcher?  It might
>be interesting to put some competition in this system ... (dream on
>8-).  Of course, then reviewers would actually have to review papers
>promptly or risk good manuscripts going elsewhere, and, since
>reviewing is mainly a volunteer effort and reviewers less susceptible
>to the pressures that could be laid on a paid reviewer, perhaps the
>whole system would be in chaos????

I think that this is the best challenge to the current reviewing system and the
old traditional scientific society. With the current situation of "publish or
perish", we should not put more restraints on researchers for the freedom of
publishing their results. In fact, this has been the policy of medical
publications in which every MD publishes more than 10 "papers" a year. If the
current evaluation system stays in counting the NUMBER rather than the QUALITY
of research papers, any unfair restraints will be to the disadvantage of the
scientific comunity.

Song-Muh Jong
University of Florida
sjj at icbr.ifas.ufl.edu

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