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Introduction Manuscripts with “Part 1,” “Part I,”…, “Part N ” in the title that are intended to be published as a series are called multiple-part manuscripts . Some journals require that all parts of a multiple

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Introduction Whereas in traditional, closed peer review (CPR) a few, selected scientists (peers) are included in the process of manuscript review, public peer review (PPR) includes, in addition to invited reviewers, a wider

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to the discussion around the JIF. In these studies we investigated the effect of several versions of one and the same manuscript published by a journal on its JIF. Bornmann et al. ( 2011 ) took the case of the interactive open access journal

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public peer review (PPR), electronic publishing offers new possibilities of quality assurance that cannot be realized in traditional closed peer review. Whereas traditional peer review of submitted manuscripts involves the use of designated reviewers

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Abstract  

Lindsey recently examined the precision of the manuscript review process using a stochastic model. The study reported that the low reliability found by previous studies results in journals publishing a large number of papers that should otherwise be rejected and rejecting an equally large number of papers that should be accepted.Hargens andHerting have criticized this view. This paper addresses their criticisms. The paper includes an examination of sociology journals usingimpact scores. The differences between journals is noted. Part of the variation between sociology journals derives from their editorial operations. Central to their editorial operations is the reviewing of manuscripts for publication. Not all journals perform this task equally well. The consequences of poor editorial management are discussed. To improve the quality of published work journals need to reduce the low reliability of the current manuscript review process.

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Abstract  

The credibility of the publication system in science is determined in large part by the precision of the manuscript review process. Studies on the precision of the review process in scientific journals have reported conflicting results. This paper reviews those studies and re-examines the data reported. The findings indicate that highly selective decision-making with imprecise reviewers results in outcomes that are only slightly better than chance.

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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.

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Abstract  

The case of Dr. Hwang Woo Suk, the South Korean stem-cell researcher, is arguably the highest profile case in the history of research misconduct. The discovery of Dr. Hwang’s fraud led to fierce criticism of the peer review process (at Science). To find answers to the question of why the journal peer review system did not detect scientific misconduct (falsification or fabrication of data) not only in the Hwang case but also in many other cases, an overview is needed of the criteria that editors and referees normally consider when reviewing a manuscript. Do they at all look for signs of scientific misconduct when reviewing a manuscript? We conducted a quantitative content analysis of 46 research studies that examined editors’ and referees’ criteria for the assessment of manuscripts and their grounds for accepting or rejecting manuscripts. The total of 572 criteria and reasons from the 46 studies could be assigned to nine main areas: (1) ‘relevance of contribution,’ (2) ‘writing / presentation,’ (3) ‘design / conception,’ (4) ‘method / statistics,’ (5) ‘discussion of results,’ (6) ‘reference to the literature and documentation,’ (7) ‘theory,’ (8) ‘author’s reputation / institutional affiliation,’ and (9) ‘ethics.’ None of the criteria or reasons that were assigned to the nine main areas refers to or is related to possible falsification or fabrication of data. In a second step, the study examined what main areas take on high and low significance for editors and referees in manuscript assessment. The main areas that are clearly related to the quality of the research underlying a manuscript emerged in the analysis frequently as important: ‘theory,’ ‘design / conception’ and ‘discussion of results.’

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Abstract  

Editorial delay, the time between submission and acceptance of scientific manuscripts, was investigated for a set of 4,540 papers published in 13 leading food research journals. Groups of accelerated papers were defined as those that fell in the lower quartile of the distribution of the editorial delay for the journals investigated. Delayed papers are those in the upper quartile of the distribution. Editorial stage is related to the peer review process and two variables were investigated in search of any bias in editorial review that could influence publication delay: countries of origin of the manuscript and authors’ previous publishing experience in the same journal. A ranking of countries was established based on contributions to the leading food research journals in the period 1999–2004 and four categories comprising heavy, medium, light and occasional country producers was established. Chi square tests show significant differences in country provenance of manuscripts only for one journal. The results for influence on editorial delay of cross-national research and international collaboration, conducted by means of the Fisher statistic test, were similar. A two-tailed Student’s t test shows significant differences (p<0.05) in the distribution of experienced and novel authors across the delayed and accelerated groups of papers. Although these results are time and discipline limited, it can be concluded that authors’ publishing experience causes a faster review and acceptance of their papers and that neither country of provenance nor cross-national research influence the time involved in editorial acceptance of the papers.

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Abstract  

Using the data of a comprehensive evaluation study on the peer review process of Angewandte Chemie International Edition (AC-IE), we examined in this study the way in which referees’ comments differ on manuscripts rejected at AC-IE and later published in either a low-impact journal (Tetrahedron Letters, n = 54) or a high-impact journal (Journal of the American Chemical Society, n = 42). For this purpose, a content analysis was performed of comments which led to the rejection of the manuscripts at AC-IE. For the content analysis, a classification scheme with thematic areas developed by Bornmann et al. (<cite>2008</cite>) was used. As the results of the analysis demonstrate, a large number of negative comments from referees in the areas “Relevance of contribution” and “Design/Conception” are clear signs that a manuscript rejected at AC-IE will not be published later in a high-impact journal. The number of negative statements in the areas “Writing/Presentation,” “Discussion of results,” “Method/Statistics,” and “Reference to the literature and documentation,” on the other hand, had no statistically significant influence on the probability that a rejected manuscript would later be published in a low- or high-impact journal. The results of this study have various implications for authors, journal editors and referees.

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