Tag Archives: finding referees

So you want to be a referee?

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!

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“Reviewer Declines Assignment”…

It’s a routine, albeit vaguely frustrating, part of being an editor: You get a new submission, you look it over to get a sense of the content, you search for referees, you send out requests, and then wait for the declines to start trickling in. It’s worse than sending out wedding invitations.

But twice in the last two days I’ve had decline responses which have been a positive delight to receive: The referee suggested alternative people I could contact! Sometimes they’re ones I’ve already contacted, but sometimes it’s a new person I hadn’t considered.

Referees, consider doing the same, if you can. Extra bonus points if you can provide an email or webpage for the people you suggest.