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Re: Issue: Referees & Timely publications ...


Mark Tupper <[log in to unmask]>


[log in to unmask]


Thu, 5 Jun 1997 15:34:37 EDT





text/plain (1 lines)

Aldo-Pier Solari wrote:
> For over a year ago, there was a debate in FISH-ECOLOGY about
> timely publications. I understand, from a few editors, this
> issue is getting worse as time passes and the conventional
> publishing system seems to be useless:
> - Editors cannot get referees to review papers;
> - Referees return, after several months, papers without having
> reviewd the material ('sorry, didn't have time');
> - Budget cuts shrink time & will of referees (generally senior
> scientists);
> - Senior scientists cannot afford working for free;
> - Senior scientists _will not_ work for free;
> (my snip)
> I would suggest to editors to _correct_ this issue and implement
> unconventional ways to solve this groove problem: Junior
> scientists (even graduated students!) could review the majority
> of _descriptive_ papers. Why dont you recruit graduated students
> and new phd's ?. Or do editors _believe_ that all responsibility
> of science may be thrown onto the shoulders of senior scientists?

I can only speak for myself and I few other junior colleagues
(post-docs and recent faculty hires), but we have been reviewing
papers for fairly prominent journals (Mar. Biol., MEPS, JEMBE, ICES
J. Mar Sci., and several others) since we were second or third-year
Ph.D. students. It seems that once you have published 2-3 papers
on a specific subject in reputable journals, you get solicited to
review papers on that or similar subjects. Of course, this
solicitation of reviews from junior scientists may be a recent
development - I haven't been around long enough to know. From my own
experience, however, I can say that the first manuscripts sent to me
were generally the work of other junior scientists. As I did more
reviews for various journals, they began to send me papers by more
senior and well-known scientists.

What I am trying to get at here is that many editors already do send
papers to junior researchers and even graduate students. With the
amount of new graduates and post-docs submitting papers at an
ever-increasing rate, I cannot imagine how journals would review all
the papers submitted if they relied solely on senior scientists.


Mark Tupper
Research Assistant Professor,
School of Marine Science, University of Maine
5741 Libby Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5741, USA
tel. (207) 581-2733; FAX (207) 581-4388

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