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RE: Peer-Editors and Peer Review

Surely the great majority of journals, open access or otherwise, 
are run by an editor-in-chief who works in the discipline 
concerned and who is responsible for choosing referees and making 
the final decision. I know a few OA journals (I emphasise the 
few) did seem to be adopting a different model at one time but 
they have been exposed. Of course the choice of an 
editor-in-chief is crucial and is done by a whole variety of 
mechanisms which all seem to work sometimes well and sometimes 
not so well.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Sandy Thatcher
Sent: 22 May 2011 14:16
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: Peer-Editors and Peer Review

I think Stevan is probably right about emphasizing the importance 
of scholars serving as editors (rather than "professional 
editors") in journal publishing in order to uphold standards of 
scholarly excellence. but i would also urge that the system for 
book publishing is more complex in this respect as it is a 
complicated and dynamic mixture of input from three different 
kinds of major players--the publishing house's acquiring editors, 
the "expert" peer reviewers chosen by them, and the faculty 
editorial boards that serve as the final authority in determining 
what gets published at university presses--each of whose 
perspectives is important to making the best decisions. I explain 
this system in my 1999 essay on "The 'Value Added' in Editorial 
Acquisitions" in the Journal of Scholarly Publishing, if anyone 
is interested. It can be accessed here: 

The difference between these two systems of editorial 
decisionmaking is ill understood outside of the publishing 
industry (and sometimes even within it!), and proposals to 
disintermediate the system for book acquisitions in the 
open-access environment by relying only on peer review as done in 
the journals arena are seriously off base, IMHO.

Sandy Thatcher