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Re: Peer-Editors and Peer Review

There is also the matter of an editor steering a publication in a
way that the reviewers may not contemplate.  This is what is
meant when someone says that a particular article is right for
one journal, not right for another.  (This is even more true for
book publishing.)  Not everyone agrees that this is or should be
an editor's prerogative. But it is very much part of an editor's
job for most publications and it is not captured by peer review.

Joe Esposito

On Wed, May 18, 2011 at 6:40 PM, Stevan Harnad <amsciforum@gmail.com> wrote:

>> Dear Steven,
>> I believe what is missing from nearly all conversations about
>> scientific publishing, including the [editorial cited] below,
>> is the importance of editors.
> Johnston, Mark (2009) Editorial: Reclaiming Responsibility for
> Setting Standards. Genetics 181: 355?356 DOI:
> 10.1534/genetics.109.100818
> http://www.genetics.org/content/181/2/355.full
> Dear Mark,
> I agree completely that a qualified and conscientious editor
> who reviews the submissions, selects the peer reviewers, and
> adjudicates the reports and revisions -- the "primus inter
> pares" to whom both authors and referees are answerable -- is
> an essential component of peer review, as you state in your
> informed and impassioned editorial, cautioning against journals
> run instead by professional editors rather than practising
> scientists and scholars.
>> Everyone bows to peer-review, but few seem to understand or
>> acknowledge the importance of editors to distill those reviews
>> and adjudicate the reviewers" opinions.? That is the real (and
>> essential) role of journals.
> You are absolutely right. Peer review is only as effective as
> its editor. (And once text-generation, access-provision and
> archiving is offloaded onto institutional repositories, peer
> review -- including the crucial role of the primus inter pares
> -- will be not only the real and essential function of
> journals, but the only one.)
>> The lengthy thread [here] only alludes to (quite briefly) the
>> importance of editors for marshalling fair and effective peer
>> review:
>>> SH:
>>> "what"s important is that it really provides answerable, interactive peer
>>> review, as a precondition for certification at the body"s known quality
>>> level"
>> I attach my [editorial on] the importance of (peer) editing to
>> science. I sincerely believe peer-editing is the foundation of
>> science and must be defended.
>> http://www.genetics.org/content/181/2/355.full
> Bravo for your editorial. I think Open Access can help restore
> the peer-editor to the role they had played in the best journals
> (and, in a few, still do), by focusing journal publication on its
> sole essential function in the online/OA era.
> Stevan Harnad
>> Sincerely,
>> Mark Johnston
>> Editor-in-Chief
>> GENETICS (the peer-edited journal of the Genetics Society of America)
>> http://www.genetics.org