[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: How many (peer reviewed) journals are there?

There are various kinds of peer review that can complicate the 
identification of which journals fall into the category and which 
not. E.g., for many years--I can't speak for it now under its 
current editor--Philosophy & Public Affairs, then published by 
Princeton U.P., decided on which articles to publish almost 
entirely by consultation of the main editor, Marshall Cohen, and 
his two associate editors, Tim Scanlon and Tom Nagel, who put a 
great deal of effort into helping authors improve their 
submissions.  Only rarely did they feel it necessary to consult 
other experts, and when they did, they seldom went beyond the 
twelve-member editorial board (which included such figures as 
Michael Walzer, John Rawls, Dennis Thompson, etc.) One might 
classify this as a journal where "editorial control" was 
exercised, but not peer review in the normal sense. But there is 
no one in the field of philosophy who would not feel privileged 
to have an article published in this journal, which early became 
one of the most prestigious journals in its field and has 
remained so ever since. So, it clearly matters who the editors 
are, and what kind of review they are conducting. One cannot 
conclude, arbitrarily, that "editorial control" cannot suffice.

Sandy Thatcher
Penn State University Press

>In United States research universities and colleges, a great deal
>of library support to faculty consists of assisting junior
>faculty in attaining tenure, through the writing of articles for
>a tenure portfolio.  In U.S. research universities and colleges,
>articles published in non-peer-reviewed (albeit edited) journals
>are ascribed much less value in a tenure portfolio than are
>articles published in peer-reviewed journals.  That is, for U.S.
>scholars and academic librarians, editorial control is not
>equivalent to peer-review.  Accordingly, knowing which scholarly
>journals are peer-reviewed is extremely important to U.S.
>scholars-- both the junior faculty who are the heaviest library
>users, and the senior faculty who assess their tenure portfolios
>and so need to know which journals are peer-reviewed--and the
>librarians who assist them.
>Currently, to obtain key information about a scholarly journal,
>U.S. scholars and academic librarians need to use multiple
>reference sources: DOAJ (or the journal's Website) to determine
>open access status, and Ulrich's (or the journal's Website) to
>determine peer review status.  Ulrich's does not consistently
>list OA information, and searching a journal's Website is often
>inefficient because journal information on such a site is usually
>scattered and often incomplete.  A single reference source other
>than a journal's Website and listing both OA and peer review
>information would lower search costs for U.S. scholars and
>academic librarians.  DOAJ would thus substantially enhance its
>value to U.S. scholars and academic librarians, allowing them to
>rely often on a single reference source for key journal
>information, if DOAJ records stated whether journals were
>Respecting ISSN, that alone doesn't seem to be adequate to
>identify a scholarly journal, since most non-scholarly
>periodicals in general distribution have ISSNs.  ISBD appears to
>define "journal" in our sense as a "learned periodical," that is,
>a publication issued in successive parts and more frequently than
>annually, and intended to continue indefinitely, that is
>"learned."  ISBD does not define "learned", however, so the ISBD
>definition is incomplete.  I don't currently have access to AACR2
>or CONSER documentation, and so can't assess definitions in those
>works.  It seems we need to rely on the research of Sally Morris
>and Michael Mabe and their colleagues for a definition of
>"journal" in our sense.
>Robert C. Richards, Jr., J.D.*, M.A., M.S.L.I.S.
>Philadelphia, PA
>E-mail: richards1000@comcast.net
>* Admitted to practice in New York only.