Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Roundtable of Journal Editors

This discussion of how journals work in Theoria is quite interesting, especially I assume for those without much insight. I'm somewhat surprised how difficult it seems to be to find referees, though perhaps this explains why I've sometimes been asked to review some stuff that hardly falls in my area of expertise (narrowly defined). As suggested, it's doubtless because of increasing pressures to publish, and a significant influx of submissions from graduate students.

I'm not sure about the suggestion that quality should outweigh quantity in assessing scholars by their publications though. It seems to me that, other things equal, someone producing more good scholarship ought to be preferred to someone producing less scholarship of an equal - or maybe even slightly higher - standard. (This is all the more true, I think, given that quality is difficult to measure - though I'm unsure whether quantity should be measured in articles or words.) Of course, we should factor in considerations about people's circumstances: a post-doc gets more research time than a lecturer and thus ought to produce either more or better publications.

It's also interesting to get insight as to how Ethics works from Henry Richardson. Apparently they now receive around 400 manuscripts a year and only a quarter even make it to review. Hence I was pretty pleased with my paper!

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