I recently had a Facebook discussion where the issue came up concerning whether editors should inform referees of the decision they made regarding a submission. Several philosophers I know said they really appreciate when they are told what an editor eventually decided, because they would like to know what is being published in their area, in general, and they might want to refer to the paper, in particular. It can also help a referee confirm their report, like jointly grading a paper.
I can see at least two issues that complicate this from an editor’s perspective. First, a minor point: writing 200-500 notes to referees each year, especially if they are not simply form emails, is not nothing. Second: It would seem odd to me, in a case where I did not accept the recommendation of the referee, to inform her of that fact. “I’d like to let you know that I didn’t follow your advice” just doesn’t feel right.
There are, of course, things I could say to soften the message. I could make it clear that I inform referees as a matter of policy, and that I value all recommendations, even those I do not follow in the end. And so on. But it’s not clear to me that any of that helps.
So I’d certainly be interested in hearing what you think. Should editors inform referees of their final decisions?