Re: Open Letter to Philip Campbell, Editor, Nature

From: Christopher D. Green <christo_at_YORKU.CA>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 08:33:52 -0500

Stevan Harnad wrote:
      On Thu, 30 Nov 2006, Peter Banks wrote:

                  Apart from the few giant journals who
                  hire and
                  house full time editors, peer review
                  is conducted entirely by the
                  academic community itself, at its own
                  time and expense.

            Most society journals are not giant, do not have
            full time editors, but
            instead support at considerable cost editorial
            offices in major

            Until that fact is recognized--and OA advocates
            cease and desist with the
            nonsense that peer review is free--there can be
            no intelligent discussion.

      Peter, you replied to the easier posting first. Chris Green
      (though his point is basically right): All peer-reviewed
      journals, great
      or small, incur some expense in managing (not actually
      performing) peer
      review. But it is an incontestable fact that the peers who
      review, review
      for free. The in-house editors are *managing* the peer
      review; they are
      deciding and advising and editing, but they are not the peer
      (If they were, it would not even really be peer review, but
      an in-house
      vanity press.)

In small journals (which is the vast majority of them), the publisher has
no hand in the management of peer review at all. As editor, I receive the
submissions, I contact the reviewers, I send the submission to the
reviewers, I bug the reviewers when they haven't sent the reviews in on
time, I receive  the reviews, I read the reviews, I file the reviews, I
decide which paper goes into the journal on the basis of the reviews. The
publisher has no hand whatever in the peer review process. They are not
even aware of the submission's existence until after the peer review
process has taken place, and I send the reviewed, edited submission to
the publisher for typesetting and copyediting.

If what Peter means by saying that publishers bear the costs for peer
review is that they pay an editor for managing it, so be it, but that is
not what he actually said. And all costs apart from paying the editor
(office space, mailing, the reviewer's time and expertise, etc.) are
typically borne by others.

Christopher D. Green
Department of Psychology
York University
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
416-736-5115 ex. 66164
Received on Fri Dec 01 2006 - 14:33:51 GMT

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