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Re: Taking Our Academic Medicine

The real "myth" is the timesome one you put forth here--that peer review 
is conducted by unpaid volunteers.

For a journal of any size and stature, it isn't. Yes, reviewers are 
unpaid. But the university based editors and associate editors who invite, 
manage and reconcile the conflicting views of those invited reviewers are 
paid, and well. For a journal like Diabetes, costs at the university 
(including rent, salary support, supplies, etc) are $250,000 per year, 

Peter Banks
Acting Vice President for Publications/Publisher
American Diabetes Association
Email: pbanks@diabetes.org

>>> mefunk@med.cornell.edu 11/28/05 6:09 PM >>>

Besides smearing the peer reviewers for Open Access journals, this comment 
also perpetuates the myth that traditional publishers employ a more 
expensive peer review process.

Peer review, a most important aspect of the publishing process, is mostly 
done by invited volunteers. Very few scientific journals have paid, 
in-house reviewers. It is these unpaid volunteers, chosen for their 
expertise, who assure the quality and authority of academic journals, 
whether Open Access or not. I fail to see how "unpaid" is more expensive 
for traditional journals than it is for Open Access journals. Copy 
editing, used by some journals and not others, is not peer review.

I'm not sure the "trained monkey" reviewers for BMC, PLoS, and other Open 
Access journals appreciate your comment.

Mark Funk
Head, Collection Development
Weill Cornell Medical Library
New York, NY 10021


At 12:01 AM -0500 11/20/05, Peter Banks wrote:
>However, what authors want from journals is the rigor of peer review and
>the stamp of authority it conveys. And that--despite the OA assertion that
>peer review can be done cheaply, perhaps by trained monkeys in a low-rent
>trailer in South Dakota--is where the cost, and the value, enters
>publishing. "Value" is not low price, as you will find if you buy your
>wife's Christmas gift at WalMart rather than Tiffany. For a journal, it is
>the cost to deliver quality, authority, and distribution.