Gochfeld, Yenega, and Peer? review.

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at tils-ttr.org
Wed Oct 4 13:52:51 EDT 2000

>From Ron Gatrelle,
    Point one. Peer. In plain ole English, that means equal. You know, "a
jury of his peers." Anything assessed by that which is less than equal has
not been peer-ed -- it has been inferior-ed (screwed over). The Bible says:
"And without all contradiction, the less is blessed of the better" (Hebrews
7:7). In other words, there is a natural pecking order in all of nature. The
Pope lays his hands on the parishioner, not the other way around. The
Professor hands the diploma to the student, not the other way around. The
mom sets the rules, not the kid (even when the "kid" hits 50). The Sun holds
the earth, not the other way around. The dominant wolf leads, not the pack.
etc. etc. etc. etc. Student-PEER-reviewer (grad or otherwise) is an
oxymoron. So, da! Why be surprised at the flack from the new boss when he
turns out to be, gulp, the reviewed. In other words, when you get out of the
order you get pecked.
    Point two. We all know the "golden rule" -- do unto others as you would
have them do unto you. As Dr. Doug, do you really want a "student" grading
your work, your career, your livelihood? If so fine. If not, then don't ask
others to endure assessment by-the-less.
    Point three. I've found that a lot of people can dish-it-out. Few can
take-it. In other words (should I stop saying that?) a lot of "bosses" need
to grow up, get over it, deal with the facts, and sometimes move over and
let the new wolf lead because he is no longer a pup -- he is now a peer.
Thus, sir, your idea of author anonymity is great. The issues you brought up
are real and something needs to be done to keep "personalities" and
"prejudice" out of the review process. I appreciate your comments.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug Yanega" <dyanega at pop.ucr.edu>
To: <LEPS-L at lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2000 12:30 PM
Subject: Re: TTR reviewers and peer review part II.

> 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
> 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
> status, *regardless* of whether the criticisms were justified - and I
> 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.
> Peace,
> 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)
>            http://entmuseum9.ucr.edu/staff/yanega.html
>   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

More information about the Leps-l mailing list