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    Inicio > Historias > We are sorry to inform you

    We are sorry to inform you

    Through barrapunto I arrive at the page on rejection letters. I have had my fair share of them, some quite recently (last week, in fact). And, of course, being in the same business, I've caused through reviewing a good amount of them too, I guess.
    Peer reviewing is a problem, and will be increasingly more so. It's quite difficult to find three or four reviewers willing to volunteer (no payment involved, never) a bit of their precious time to review papers that are badly written, badly thinked out, or both. Sometimes it's not quite like that, but since fields are becoming more and more narrow, it's almost impossible to find a reviewer that is completely familiar with the technique and applicationso and methodology used in a paper.
    Besides, rejection is becoming more common. Available journal slots are not growing as fast as the number of papers produced by researchers. Neural nets researchers have grown exponentially, but there are just half a dozen of neural net journals (even less so, if you take into account impact factor). It's even worse for evolutionary computation: 3 journals, one of them without impact index.
    It all boils down to the fact that there will be more and more "we are sorry to inform you... " letters, I am sorry to inform you all.

    2006-11-30 09:40 | 11 Comment(s) | Filed in Just_A_Scientist

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    De: fernand0 Fecha: 2006-11-30 10:21

    There are more problems: in these days it is very difficult to reject a bad work (too much work to justify all) and it is easier to accept it (no pain involved, you are cool and everything goes ok) so doing the referee work is harder and harder.

    De: JJ Fecha: 2006-11-30 10:34

    That just moves the work up one step, to the editors.

    De: fernand0 Fecha: 2006-11-30 11:04

    But editors usually don't fight about bad reviews that accept bad papers. So it is easy for a bad paper to get published and difficult for a 'different' good paper to be accepted.

    De: Algernon Fecha: 2006-11-30 11:28

    Then if a field is so narrow that only a handful of reviewers are available, they will probably know you even if the paper has no name on it. That it's what I'd call "endogamy", or perhaps "mafia". It has always been part of the deal, probably.

    How sad. It is not the "survival of the fittest", just the survival of the flashy, catchy, lucky paper.

    De: Vitorino Ramos Fecha: 2006-12-01 16:41

    Probably the only way out of this, in the future, it will be an increase on free online iniciatives (e.g.: cutting not only costs as reviewing time, and very narrow-specific research area Journals. However, multidisciplinary works will tend to disappear. If in the future we will assist to "research speciation" what will happen to the necessary counter-balance: "research-diversity", probably one of the most appealing and necessay driving forces to innovation ? Is there - out there - any reviewers left able to properly review works at the edge of (at least two) different research areas? If not (as I unfornately suspect), scientists will tend more and more to publish classic standard non-risky works, avoinding those potentially positive hybrid areas. Science will tend to crystallization.

    De: JJ Fecha: 2006-12-01 19:47

    PLOS is not really free. In fact, it's very expensive for those wanting to publish. In fact, it's very expensive. Arxiv is much better, but it's not refereed.

    De: Vitorino Ramos Fecha: 2006-12-01 20:12

    Amazing. I did not realized that they end up by doing this. When I was one of the initial supporters. My photo is somewhere in here :(


    # (direct link)

    All in all, today, I am a little more skeptic about the future of published science. I should had take seriously the title of your post: "We are sorry to inform you". The boolean decision "Publish or perish" is getting in fact, very fuzzy. At least, PLoS continues to be open acess for all. Let's see till when...

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