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09/24/2010

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I would love to know more about the submission-to-publication process. To date, I have received ONE (1) helpful comment out of all the times I have submitted something to a journal. So much for social science peer review.

Thanks for your comment.

Peer review is a part of the publishing process that is beginning to show signs of extreme strain.

There are only so many people adequately qualified in the sense that they have expertise to provide informed comments about what is being covered in the paper. Out of these, as an editor, you want someone who will provide good feedback in a timely fashion while providing a clear indication of whether a paper should be published or not. This decreases the pool even further. So as an editor, you are juggling these contending criteria and can end up with a reviewer that is far from the ideal more than one would like.

Peer reviewers receive no compensation for what they do. And one is never given any warning that they are going to be asked; these things always come out of the blue when one has numerous other tasks to complete. And in many cases, reviewers are never even told of the final decision. Thus, there is really very little incentive to peer review, apart from a sense of professional duty in many cases.

Unfortunately, I think all of these factors often add up to one receiving comments that are not particularly helpful.

The NYT had a story a few weeks ago where a journal in the field of English decided to scrap peer review for one issue. Instead, they placed the papers online and allowed anyone who wanted to make comments. Could this be the way of the future? Or would this simply replicate existing problems while adding others (e.g., inappropriate comments, the overt politicisation of the process by pressure groups)? Time will tell....

There's a 2011 PS article that includes some data on time-to-decision here:

http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/syoder/research/YoderBramlett2011.pdf

Appreciated this writing! Thx for implementing the time to at long last writing about Journal Ranking Lists in Politics and International Relations - Chasing Dragons.

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