Editors of peer-reviewed journals obtain recommendations from peer reviewers as guidance in deciding upon the suitability
of a submitted manuscript for publication. To investigate whether the number of reviewers used by an editor affects the rate
at which manuscripts are rejected, 500 manuscripts submitted to Monthly Weather Review during 15.5 months in 2007–2008 were examined. Two and three reviewers were used for 306 and 155 manuscripts, respectively
(92.2% of all manuscripts). Rejection rates for initial decisions and final decisions were not significantly different whether
two or three reviewers were used. Manuscripts with more reviewers did not spend more rounds in review or have different rejection
rates at each round. The results varied by editor, however, with some editors rejecting more two-reviewer manuscripts and
others rejecting more three-reviewer manuscripts. Editors described using their scientific expertise in the decision-making
process, either in determining the number of reviews to be sought or in making decisions once the reviews were received, approaches
that differ from that of relying purely upon reviewer agreement as reported previously in the literature. A simple model is
constructed for three decision-making strategies for editors: rejection when all reviewers recommend rejection, rejection
when any reviewer recommends rejection, and rejection when a majority of reviewers recommend rejection. By plotting the probability
of reviewer rejection against the probability of editor rejection, the decision-making process can be graphically illustrated,
demonstrating that, for this dataset, editors are likely to reject a manuscript when any reviewer recommends rejection.
Authors:Lana Bošnjak, Livia Puljak, Katarina Vukojević, and Ana Marušić
When we consider the editors as “gatekeepers” (Crane 1967 ) we often forget that they too, in order to advance in their professional careers, from time to time must pass through the gates they keep. In order to do
The representation of scientists from different countries in the editorial boards of the most influential journals from 48 fields of biomedical and clinical research was studied. Scientists from the USA were best represented, followed by scientists from the UK, FRG, Switzerland, Japan, Sweden, Canada, The Netherlands and Italy. The scientifically most productive countries provided most of the editors. For Dutch editors a strong correlation was found between the number of editorships held and the number of papers authored or measures of scientific eminence. Conceivably, scientific productivity and eminence may be important reasons for being asked as an editor. However, national biases play a role too in the composition of editorial boards.
Letters to the editor published in theLancet during the first half of 1980 were less cited than the corresponding papers. The average number of citations per letter was larger if the letter contained some substantive information. The longer the letter the more frequently it was cited. Letters that react to some previous publication tend to be shorter than spontaneous letters. Reacting letters tend to be less cited than spontaneous letters if they are short, more cited if they are longer. Letters with substantive information tend to originate outside the UK in which case they are also more cited.
This paper investigates the extent to which staff editors’ evaluations of submitted manuscripts—that is, internal evaluations
carried out before external peer reviewing—are valid. To answer this question we utilized data on the manuscript reviewing
process at the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The results of this study indicate that the initial internal evaluations are valid. Further, it appears that external review
is indispensable for the decision on the publication worthiness of manuscripts: (1) For the majority of submitted manuscripts,
staff editors are uncertain about publication worthiness; (2) there is a statistically significant proportional difference
in “Rejection” between the editors' initial evaluation and the final editorial decision (after peer review); (3) three-quarters
of the manuscripts that were rated negatively at the initial internal evaluation but accepted for publication after the peer
review had far above-average citation counts.