Re: The True Cost of the Essentials (Implementing Peer Review)

From: Fytton Rowland <J.F.Rowland_at_LBORO.AC.UK>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 10:04:10 -0000

The paper is in Learned Publishing and is available at:

It is true that rejection rates vary between subjects. This is to some
extent due to the "hardness" or "softness" of the subjects, and to the
traditions of different disciplines. One of the *reasons* for the different
traditions, though, is the historical cost of printing and the varying
amounts of funding available in different subjects. When printing costs
cease to be relevant, maybe the cultures of different subjects will
gradually change over time. It would not surprise me if the subjects with
very high rejection rates then saw them fall (though probably never to the
low levels found in physics,for example).


> Fytton, are the results of your review study openly accessible?
> If so, where?

> About rejection rates: Zukerman and Merton (1971) reported
> substantial variation, with rejection rates of 20-40% in the
> physical sciences, and 70-90 percent in the social sciences and
> humanities:
> <>.
> A much more recent study by ALPSP yielded results that appear
> to be consistent with the earlier data:
> <>.
> I'd predict that, in a paperless system, rejection rates will
> continue to vary across disciplies. If this prediction is
> correct, then costs per published paper will also vary across
> disciplines.
> Jim Till
> University of Toronto
Received on Thu Jan 16 2003 - 10:04:10 GMT

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