Over at Reviewer 2 Must be Stopped, there are regularly posts saying “I’ve been waiting 6+ months for a result” which spark a slew of people saying that this wait time is inexcusable. My suspicion is that this is something which varies significantly by discipline; but I also wonder how many people who think such a wait time is inexcusable have heavy referee loads themselves that they turn around quickly. I put a poll up on the group to gather some information, but alas it doesn’t allow for anonymity, which makes me think I’ll get no responses in the “it takes me 6+ months to submit a report” option.
So I’ve created two polls which should be anonymous here, and even though this blog is aimed at people in philosophy, I still think the results should be of interest.
There’s a lengthy discussion of editorial (mal)practice over at DailyNous. In the discussion, a sub-thread developed about invited versus unsolicited papers, and whether they should be marked as such.
For example, the journal I edit, Res Philosophica, recently had a call for papers on transformative experience. We noted in the call for papers that unsolicited papers that are accepted will be published alongside invited papers (and named the authors of the invited papers). All of the papers are refereed, but obviously the invited papers are not triple anonymous. For the invited papers, I default to double anonymous, but on occasion I have used single anonymous review. (For what it’s worth, I never serve as the referee.)
I thought putting the names of the invited papers in the call for papers was transparent, but some of the discussants over at Daily Nous suggested something further: Put a note in all published papers that indicates how the paper was reviewed.
I’m initially inclined to think this is a great idea. A title note, for example, might go something like this: “This paper was invited and double anonymous reviewed by two referees.” Or “This paper was unsolicited and was triple anonymous reviewed by three referees.”
Two questions for discussion:
1) Is this a good idea? I worry that I’m missing potential downsides or pitfalls.
2) If it is a good idea, what information would be good to include? Invited vs unsolicited; triple- vs double vs single-anonymous review; number of referees; date of submission; date of acceptance? Others?
A post over at NewAPPS on the scarcity of reliable referees has sparked a comment thread containing a matter that I see come up in these context over and over again: People with solid publication records who are beyond the junior stage of their career who would be happy to referee but have never been asked to do so. What can these people do to raise their profiles, and thus the chances that they’ll be found and asked to referee? There are a few fairly easy things to do. When I am searching for referees, my selection is generally drawn from a combination of people I know personally are working in a particular area, people whose work is closely related to the submitted work on the basis of the bibliography, people I find via google, people writing on the same topic found via philpapers, and people who list that the relevant area as an area of research on academia.edu. So:
Make sure you have a webpage with an up to date CV and list of research interests, and current email. It’s amazing how many people (a) don’t have websites or (b) don’t have an easily findable current email on it.
Put your papers online, whether via academia.edu, your personal homepage, an institutional repository, etc.
Make sure your philpapers profile is up to date, again with current papers, current research interests, current email.
If you don’t have an academia.edu page, consider making one and populating it with your research interests.
Additionally, on the other side of the desk, I’ve noticed a strong correlation between submitting to a journal and being asked to referee for it within the next 6 months or so. So, another way to raise your profile as a potential referee for a journal is to submit to it!