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By way of background, there are journals in which the editor - as in, the person who contacts referees, guides the review process, and makes a decision is unknown to the corresponding author. Communication with the author is solely through a named, administrative editor who does not have any decision making authority, and is merely a conduit for the editor's decisions.

What could be the rationale for such a system? Of course, one can understand the importance of referee anonymity so they can comment freely on the merits of a submission. However why should editors remain behind a veil of anonymity?

Thanks.

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    "there are journals in which the editor" --- Specific examples would be helpful. – Dave L Renfro Mar 11 '18 at 18:33
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However why should editors remain behind a veil of anonymity?

My educated guess is that these are the same reasons why peer-reviewers are anonymous:

An editor has to make potentially unpopular decisions, beginning with deciding about desk rejection over selecting the reviewers to making the final decision. In fact, the editor usually has more power than a single reviewer. These decisions should be made without fear of repercussions and similar, and editors do not want to pestered about negative decisions outside the journal’s channels.

By the way, all journals that I know to follow such a policy (which are almost all I know) also stop anonymising the editor in case of a positive decision, i.e., the acceptance is usually sent in the editor’s name and thus tells you who handled your paper.

  • Which brings me to a follow-up question: If anonymity of editors is so important, why is it not universal, like referee anonymity? – user_of_math Mar 13 '18 at 16:48

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