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Original Charter of newsgroup

Donald Forsdyke forsdyke at post.queensu.ca
Mon Jul 13 08:53:35 EST 1998

The following, in case you had forgotten, is the original charter of
this newsgroup, which was voted on, and approved,after some discussion:

Proposal to establish bionet.journals.note
Discussion leader:  Donald R. Forsdyke
                    Department of Biochemistry,
                    Queen's University
                    Kingston, Ontario
                    Canada, K7L3N6
                    Forsdyke at post.queensU.ca
I would like to suggest a new Bionet group for the exchange of
information concerning journals. Having had a good idea, done the
experiments and written a paper, one is faced with the problem of
where to submit it. The wrong decision at this stage can cause a
variety of problems, not the least of which is delay. [Of course, not
too far down the line when electronic journals get going, this problem
will not be so pressing.]
Two examples have appeared on the "net" over the past few weeks. In
one case an author was upset that he had received no correspendence
from the editor of a journal for several months. Someone was able to
tell him that the editor had been in an automobile accident and that
may have delayed things. In another case an editorial office had
moved. Manuscripts sent in by courier were being forwarded by regular
mail, with concomitant delays.
Much of the "inside" information on journals is gathered informally,
over the years, so that "old hands" are less at a disadvantage then
"new". Hopefully, some of this experience could be passed along to new
authors. For example, the journal Nature states that "less than 50%"
of the papers received are actually sent out for review.  What does
that mean? 40%, 30%, 10%? If the answer is 10% then papers must be
written with the primary intent of getting over through the initial
editorial filter, rather than satisfying subsequent reviewers.
Apart from use by those who submit to journals, I envisage that the
new forum would act as a bulletin board for journal editors who might
want to post their latest "Instructions for Authors" or announce new
changes in Editorial Policy.
                         Don Forsdyke

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