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Review Process is Problematic

 Dear all,

                               "Food for thought"

We all know and agree that, reserach and its methodlogies differ from person to person, institution to institution, and maybe, paradigm to philosophies. Because of this, what one reviewer sees as good or excellent, is considered rubbish by another. This same practice is seen among journal reviewers who can make you go "mary-go-round" with one paper until you decide to withdraw it. This is because, these journals send their papers to different reviewers who are just available to do the work (expecially, now that we have Publons award).

Ladies and gentlement, how do we solve this unfortunate situation?

How many times should a journal send a paper for review? or to how many people before it decide to publish or reject it? The so called top journals which normally publish for free, are the most culprits of this "nonsensical" scenarios .

Can`t we suggest that, journals have two/three experts (employees) who review for them and it ends there?

I have received back a paper for the fourth correction-each case having two differnt reviewers, and I am thinking of withdrawing it. But before I do that, I want to read your opinion to make informed decision.

Thank you very much.


1 person likes this idea
1 Comment

Hi Akwesi,

Andrew here from Publons, thanks for your message.

Your proposal is an interesting one.  I think that a journal having a team of professional full-time reviewers would be problematic for a couple of reasons:

  • It may be hard to find a full time staff who can cover a full breadth of topics necessary for a journal
  • Those full time staff would, since no longer performing their own independent research, quickly become unable to review manuscripts in bleeding edge disciplines

There may be more reasons for journals not to pursue such paradigms.

I can't say whether it would be correct to withdraw your paper in this case but I would suggest that the journal's insistence on further rounds of review indicates an intention to publish and that your reviewers may be providing useful feedback even if it doesn't feel like it.  Obviously I don't know the specifics of your manuscript or the reviews you have received.

I'm sorry I can't be of more help.  Please let me know if you do have any further questions or suggestions.


Andrew Harrison

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