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Re. Can journals monopolize science?

colemanr at garnet.berkeley.edu colemanr at garnet.berkeley.edu
Mon May 31 14:46:44 EST 1993

Re: Should authors be allowed to submit to more than one journal?  Perhaps
we can re-phrase this in terms of an evolutionary question?  We currently
have a population of journals composed entirely of journals unwilling to
accept papers submitted elsewhere.  The proposal, in essence, is that a
rare-mutant journal J changes its policy and now accepts papers submitted
elsewhere.  Would this rare-mutant J invade?   I think it highly unlikely.
As soon as journal J announces its policy, it alone will bear the
brunt of reviewers'  disdain for extra work since reviewers will have good
reason to suspect that every paper they receive from journal J is also
being submitted elsewhere.  The result: no one will review papers for r
journal J.  In addition, there may be a stigma attached to submitting papers
to journal J because people may equate the acceptance of multiple 
submissions as a lowering of standards.  Finally, one journal alone can not
initiate such a change in policy, since in order to submit to more than one
journal without penalty both journals must adopt this new policy.  The 
bottom line: the rare-mutant dies a lonely death.  
-- Ron Coleman    

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