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Re: Peer Review - An Editor's Point of View
In a message dated 11/8/2002 9:26:39 PM Eastern Standard Time,
< I have been monitoring the discussions about peer review and feel that I
should step in and offer some points of view from an editor's point of view.
Most of you know that I have edited several scholarly books on dinosaurs (4,
with 3 more in development), but I am also associate editor for the Journal
of Vertebrate Paleontology and for the journal Earth Sciences History. In
addition, I teach Research Methods and Report Writing class at the museum
here. Thus, I am well qualified to address this issue of peer review. >
A big thanks to Ken for taking the time to write this excellent complement to
our list discussion in late October ("Peering at Review").
< First, however, to clarify an issue. There is a mistaken belief that if you
are a professional paleontologist, you are guaranteed to get your paper
published. Nothing could be farther from the truth. >
What are your criteria for including papers in your above books? What is
your opinion on self-publishing?
< any of the rest of you. Some professional paleotologists publish very
little in their life time because for them the review process is too
emotional. The sting of review comments or rejection hurts too much and they
are not able to get beyond it. >
But as Chris Brochu pointed out in October, academic paleontologists are
under the publish or perish rule.
< publish it elsewhere. And that raises another issue: not ever journal is
suitable for your manuscript. The editors for Palaeontographica were correct
that their journal was not the correct outlet for Greg's and my manuscript.
With JVP, we are having to make harder choices regarding suitable
Perhaps someday Henry Gee will post to a suitable forum ( :-) ), the
requisites for being published in Nature.
< My advice to someone wanting to improve their writing, there are books on
scientific writing - READ THEM. I strongly recommend "Successful Scientific
Writing" by J. Matthews, J. Bowen, and R. Matthews (Cambridge University
Press). If you are unwilling to be trained, then you have no one to blame but
yourself if your manuscript gets rejected - and that is NOT a conspiracy. ? >
Good advice, and listening to what other people say about one's hypothesis
might be helpful.
>From Ben Creisler email@example.com - "New papers in Senckenbergiana Lethaea and
< Carpenter, K. 2002. Forelimb biomechanics of nonavian
theropod dinosaurs in predation. Senckenbergiana-Lethaea.
82(1): 59-76. >
Could you give us some background on your paper being published in this