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Why do journals monopolize manuscripts???

Thu May 27 08:05:01 EST 1993

In article <May. at net.bio.net>, kristoff at net.bio.net (David
Kristofferson) says:

>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????

     Yes, as Doug Fitts points out, the knowledge that the paper under review
is a serious and unique submission should tend to make a reviewer more
conscientious than otherwise. Papers would be devalued if multiple submission
were widely practiced. My point is that the risk/benefit balance  for cheating
in the modern competitive world of research (i.e. simultaneous submission to
multiple journals) seems to be very low. Given human nature, it probably occurs
and I am surprised that Editors are not barking about it.
                                      Sincerely, Don Forsdyke

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