TTR reviewers and peer review part II.

Doug Yanega dyanega at
Wed Oct 4 12:30:04 EDT 2000

Mike Gochfeld wrote:

>I think the playing field is shifting (gradually) to fewer anonymous
>reviews, which in the long run is likely to make the peer review process
>more constructive and less destructive.

One could argue that it works the other way - one may feel constrained to
write fewer *deservedly* negative comments if one knows that the author(s)
may hold a grudge thereafter. When I was a grad student I was reviewing for
a few journals, and I'm sure one or two of the authors would not have been
happy to find out they'd been getting called to task by someone of my lowly
status, *regardless* of whether the criticisms were justified - and I might
have found myself applying for jobs in their departments later. While they
may be a minority, some people still do have the kind of egos that
*require* they be dealt with anonymously.
        My own feeling is that what would help more than anything - if it
could be achieved (and I FULLY realize that it probably can't, since you
can't eliminate citations) - is *author* anonymity. That would do wonders
for helping to level the playing field, if it were practical. Oh, well.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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