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I occasionally review articles for a prestigious but high-throughput journal. The most recent time, I went to check on the decision of the article, and saw that a decision of minor revision had been rendered but I was not informed. Is this a quiet way the editors have chosen to take me off of further reviewing a paper because they didn't like my review? I didn't even disagree with that decision particularly, but I had marked "another journal" for my recommendation.

In a previous encounter with this journal I was informed the journal had returned a decision of major revision, then the revision was never returned to the original reviewers, but rather was directly accepted by the editor and published 10 days later. Is this common too?

These may all be common practices at journals with more throughput than the specialized journals I am used to but they are new to me.

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3 Answers 3

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While most the journals that I have dealt with inform me of the editors' decision, I have found that a significant minority do not.

I've found this to be the case in fields with significantly different publication practices (e.g., computer science, biology), so I don't think it's field dependent. Likewise, there seems to be little consistency in which journals allow me to see other reviewers' comments and which do not.

My guess is that hiding review or decision information is some sort of attempt to increase editorial independence, e.g., allowing an editor to more freely decrease the weight given to an unfair Evil Reviewer #3.

I really do not like it, however, since seeing the editors' decision and the other reviews helps me simultaneously evaluate the quality of the journal and editor, which are also quite important to know (and sometimes give feedback on).

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  • Maybe we should then all add our field to our answers!
    – user151413
    Jan 14, 2021 at 19:37
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For the journals I review for, I have the impression that it is more common to not inform the referee about the decision rather than to do so, except if there is some communication from the authors to the referee. Of course, this might be highly field-dependent, so without much more information, this question is likely hard to draw specific answers.

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For the first question, it depends on the journal, the paper and the editor.

For the second question, when receiving a revised paper, the editor/associate-editor may sometimes read it by himself and take a decision directly without asking the reviewers or remove one reviewer. This is done sometimes if the revisions are minor like fixing some typos. Or the editor may have other reasons to do so. An editor may also ask some new reviewer to get some different perspective. In any case, it can happen.

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    To the user who raised a Low Quality Post flag, what's wrong with this post?
    – Nobody
    Jan 15, 2021 at 5:18
  • @scaaahu I raised an "not an answer" flag. And I indeed think this does not at all answer the question: The question is whether a referee is informed once a decision is made. The answer talks about ways how a decision might get delayed. It does not address at all what happens after the decision, with regard to informing (or not informing) previous referees. No idea why the flag got decline (except that people didn't properly read the question, since of course everything said in the answer is reasonable as such).
    – user151413
    Jan 15, 2021 at 23:21
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    @user151413 The OP mentioned not one but two questions. The first one is if you are informed of the decision. I explained in my first sentence that all of this depends on the journal/editor/paper. The second question: " the revision was never returned to the original reviewers, but rather was directly accepted by the editor and published 10 days later. Is this common too?" In my answer, I have given some reason why the editor would not return return the paper to the same reviewer.
    – Phil
    Jan 16, 2021 at 1:52
  • @Phil I see. It might help if you clarify that the first sentence refers to that question, this feels rather unclear to me.
    – user151413
    Jan 16, 2021 at 1:58
  • Ok I have edited it to make it more clear
    – Phil
    Jan 16, 2021 at 2:01

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