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

From: Andrew Odlyzko <odlyzko_at_DTC.UMN.EDU>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 06:46:55 -0600

The recent postings to this list about rejection rates and
costs of peer review point out yet another way that costs
can be lowered: Elimination of the wasteful duplication in
the peer review system.

It is widely acknowledged that almost all articles are
published eventually, possibly after some revisions, and
often after getting rejected by first and second choice
journals. Thus several sets of referees have to go over
essentially the same material. If we moved to a system
of explicit quality feedback, with referees and editors
providing their evaluations of the correctness, novelty,
and significance to the readers (beyond the current
system, where readers never see any negative evaluations,
and see positive ones only to the extent of knowing that
a published paper met some quality hurdle that is not
well formulated, much less known), we could get away from
all this duplication.

Unfortunately a change of this type is likely to take
far longer to achieve than open archiving, since it
involves changing the basic patterns of scholarly

Andrew Odlyzko
Received on Thu Jan 16 2003 - 12:46:55 GMT

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