Questions tagged [editors]

Questions about the roles and responsibilities of editors, who decide what papers are accepted into peer reviewed journals.

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124
votes
12answers
35k views

I am an editor for a lousy paper and I found a better algorithm than theirs. Must I share it with them?

I am handling a paper as an associate editor that proposed an algorithm that I find to be weak. In fact, I was able to show that a very simple, brute-force approach actually has a better running time ...
64
votes
9answers
12k views

Journal published a paper, ignoring my objections as a referee

A few months back I received a request from a reputed journal to review an article. The article was in a fast-track mode because of its assumed importance. I did review it, and found that it makes ...
57
votes
1answer
5k views

Can you share some screenshots of editor's control panels?

Most journals use similar manuscript handling systems such as ScholarOne. I have seen both author and reviewer accounts (which are similar). I wonder how an editor account looks like. I mean how you ...
53
votes
4answers
12k views

What to do when you notice that a value in your paper is wrong, once it is accepted but before it is published?

8 months ago, I have submitted my paper to the top journal in my field and finally it got accepted. Unfortunately, I have found one wrong table entry (Experiment Section), which is not a logical value ...
48
votes
3answers
3k views

Should I contact accomplished researchers listed as editors of shady journal?

I recently got an unsolicited email advertising a questionable-looking mathematics journal. Upon investigation, it looks pretty shady: page charges, manuscripts to be submitted in Microsoft Word (...
48
votes
6answers
82k views

When / how should I ask about a manuscript's status in review?

I have a manuscript that has been in review for 60 days. The journal asks for reviews within four weeks. At what point is it acceptable (and not detrimental) to contact the editor for an update? How ...
47
votes
7answers
8k views

Referee made a mistake but recommended acceptance, what to do?

I recently received a referee report on a math paper in a mid-tier journal. In this paper I proved (to give an example avoiding technicalities) that all dogs are cute. But the referee claimed in his ...
47
votes
5answers
4k views

Should an Editor in Chief publish in their own journal?

An Editor in Chief of a journal ought to be proud of their journal and consider it a good place to publish their own work, so not publishing in the journal that they edit suggests a lack of confidence ...
40
votes
6answers
5k views

Can I write a referee report too fast?

As a math postdoc, I received my first invitation to referee a journal article today, and I accepted the invitation. I've already read a preprint of the submitted article (which has been available on ...
40
votes
6answers
4k views

Are you permitted to forward the reviews from a rejected manuscript when submitting to a new journal?

Suppose I have a paper rejected from a top tier journal. The anonymous reviews highlight a number of strengths of my paper, but ultimately judge that the paper does not merit publication in that lofty ...
39
votes
9answers
17k views

What should PhD students do if they submit a paper to two journals and a reviewer notices concurrent submission?

I am in a desperate situation. I made a mistake and committed academic misconduct. I have submitted my article to two journals in parallel, let's say in j1 and j2. Once I received acceptance from ...
39
votes
8answers
7k views

Reviewer signs name on review. Should the editor censor?

Say a reviewer writes something like This paper is [yada yada blah blah]. Sincerely, Professor John Smith, Big Name University Should the editor just forward the review to the authors because ...
39
votes
5answers
5k views

Author wants to withdraw or insist on re-reviewing at proof stage of publication

I am editing a small scholarly journal published by a learned society. One of our authors, after his manuscript was finally accepted for publication and he had signed and returned the publishing ...
39
votes
4answers
11k views

How long typically are paper reviews? Is there such a thing as “too long”?

When you review papers submitted for publication, is there an “optimal” length for reviews? In my experience as an author and referee, I have seen a large range of review lengths (for reference, a ...
38
votes
8answers
9k views

How to review a revised paper I have already rejected?

I reviewed a manuscript submitted to a high-impact journal. The quality was low and I believed it could not reach the journal’s standards even by revision. I clearly recommended rejection. Now I ...
38
votes
2answers
4k views

How to respond to a perplexing review?

I've received a perplexing peer-review to a submitted paper of mine. The editor asks for major revisions, and sent us two reviews. The first one is serious and raises good points: we'll work, amend ...
38
votes
2answers
7k views

What to do when a journal publishes a paper plagiarizing one's work but doesn't care about it?

Recently I caught a paper which had plagiarized my paper. Several sentences had been copied from my article without citing my article. Some of the copied sentences had been shuffled, so the words were ...
38
votes
3answers
5k views

Published papers with incorrect solutions of famous problems: how to raise concerns with editors?

I recently discovered the following two papers: Bruckman, Paul S. A proof of the Collatz conjecture. Internat. J. Math. Ed. Sci. Tech. 39 (2008), no. 3, 403–407, DOI: 10.1080/00207390701691574. ...
37
votes
3answers
4k views

Whose responsibility to detect plagiarism during peer review: editor or referee?

Around a month ago, I was requested to review a paper submitted to a well-known APS journal. The main idea introduced in the paper was nice and the experimental implementation had fairly good results. ...
34
votes
4answers
9k views

How to deal with an unreasonable reviewer asking to cite irrelevant articles?

Two years ago, when I was doing my master’s degree, I was working on a computational project. My supervisor was well-known in the field and a highly reputed person. We were doing a great job, trying ...
33
votes
3answers
6k views

Journal does not tell me why they rejected my paper, even on request

I submitted my paper to one of Springer’s journals seven months ago. One month ago I received a letter from the editor-in-chief: Following a review of the manuscript by the editorial board, we ...
33
votes
1answer
3k views

As a reviewer, what steps can I take after paper is published despite major scientific and ethical concerns, with no explanation from editor?

I recently reviewed a manuscript for a journal I didn't know very well, but which was indexed on Pubmed and Scopus and seemed to be legitimate. In my review, I recommended rejection based on what I ...
32
votes
8answers
5k views

Should I review a paper that violates the maximum length limitation?

I am reviewing a conference paper that violates the maximum number of pages by more than 10%. I believe that this is enough reason to outright reject the paper. However, maybe the authors would ...
31
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it OK to select an editor if I solved his conjecture?

I am about to submit a paper to a respected math journal. In this paper I solved a conjecture that was raised by a member of the editorial board (and this is one of the main reasons I chose this ...
31
votes
7answers
2k views

What to do when a referee wants to criticize someone else through me

A couple of months ago I submitted a paper for which a referee review came back recently, recommending minor corrections. There are two methods to calculate some quantities in the literature which do ...
30
votes
2answers
3k views

Technical editor changed author order of the paper

Recently, I attended a conference as a corresponding author of a paper with five authors. After the paper was published in the conference proceedings, I realized that the technical editor changed the ...
30
votes
2answers
12k views

What corrections can you make on galley proofs?

When I receive galley proofs of a paper, I look at possible errors introduced by the copy-editing team. But while I proofread the article, there are sometimes small mistakes I'd like to fix, which ...
29
votes
8answers
15k views

Why do editors sometimes accept a paper even if a reviewer recommends rejection?

For the last many days, I have a question in mind related with the editorial decision of accepting or rejecting the manuscript after peer-review: Few days back I got a review report from a very ...
29
votes
5answers
5k views

What happens if the editor cannot find reviewers?

I submitted to a journal a couple of months ago. The editorial flow is somehow quick and very transparent. I receive notifications for all events happening to the manuscript. Unfortunately, the ...
29
votes
2answers
2k views

What might the editor do if my supervisor contacts a journal to claim authorship of a paper?

When I was doing my PhD project, I got an idea to solve a different but related problem. However, my supervisor said neither the motivation nor the initial result were interesting, and so he refused ...
28
votes
4answers
4k views

Use of “we have a large backlog” euphemism by journal editors when rejecting articles without sending them out for review

Several times now I've had desk rejections from journals in pure mathematics that are variations on the theme of 'we have a large backlog of very good articles, so unfortunately we won't even be ...
28
votes
3answers
1k views

Do editors ever “overbook” referees?

Is the following common? An editor for a journal sends a paper out to, say, three or four referees. After getting the first two referee reports, the editor makes a decision and tells the third and ...
28
votes
5answers
5k views

What do legit journal/conference/review invitations look like?

As everyone else here probably does, I receive a lot of unsolicited emails. I don't like it, but I've gotten used to it and can just ignore them with a friendly smile on my face, because at least ...
27
votes
5answers
4k views

How to handle newly discovered problems in second and third round reviews

For the first time, I had to review a revision of an academic paper (I have already reviewed several other papers, but they were all rejected after the first round). While the authors had clearly ...
27
votes
1answer
2k views

Editors resigning because they published a low quality paper

Very recently the chief editors of the journal 'EMS SURVEYS IN MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES' resigned because they published a paper (whose "methodology does not contradict Cantor’s and non-standard ...
26
votes
6answers
6k views

Why would a “poorly written” paper get a reject and resubmit decision rather than major revision?

Recently, I got a reject and resubmit decision from a reputed mathematics journal. I received two referee reports: the first referee suggested improving the presentation, with no recommendation of ...
26
votes
6answers
5k views

How can editors and reviewers detect data manipulation?

I am preparing a paper in the field of Computer Science. In order to report test results, we usually run a number of tests and report the average of those tests. For each test, we generate random ...
26
votes
3answers
17k views

Why become a journal editor?

I know peer-reviewing research papers is a lot of work, but it is something that as a scientist in academia you must do. However, you are not required to become an editor of a journal. It seems to be ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

What should you do if you don't hear anything back from editor after a whole year from first submission?

I have submitted a paper more than a year ago, but still I haven't heard anything back from the editor. As of today I have no idea whether my paper has been accepted/rejected or is in a review stage. ...
26
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a referee request a paper referenced in the reviewed paper?

If you review a paper which relies on results some other paper and you do not have access to that paper, is it acceptable to contact the editor and ask whether the author can provide a copy of the ...
25
votes
2answers
2k views

Advice for a new journal editor

I was recently appointed to the editorial board of an academic math journal. I'm excited about this position, and I want to do the best job I can. I have no experience with the role however, other ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

As an editor, what measures can I implement to prevent image/photo manipulation?

There's been a case of alleged data manipulation in a recent Nano Letters paper (initial report here; now-retracted paper):      You can surely make your own opinion on whether the images have been ...
24
votes
2answers
4k views

Recommended rejection of a paper, but invited to review the paper again

I was recently asked to review a paper, and ended up recommending a rejection of the paper. The journal has, apparently, asked the authors to revise their paper, and the journal has come back to me ...
24
votes
2answers
417 views

How to act as an editor?

I have been on both the author and the referee sides, but I was wondering how editors approach their task. In particular, to what level of detail do you read the paper you assign to referees, and when ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

Paper rejected due to short reference list

Recently I submitted a paper to a journal and I got the following feedback from the Editorial Office: The reference lists of manuscripts submitted to our journal should include a variety of English-...
23
votes
2answers
8k views

How to become a journal editor?

Being an editor of a journal can be time-consuming, but has obvious benefits (especially if one enjoys reading and reviewing manuscripts). So I expect many academics have a desire to become an editor. ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Is providing a slow response to journal reviews a common/good strategy for minimizing the number of review requests?

It is well known that in mathematics the process of reviewing submitted papers is quite long. There are good reasons for that; intrinsically, reviewing a math paper involves checking and understanding ...
22
votes
5answers
5k views

What to do when a reviewer is late while daily posting about other activities on social media?

I am an associate editor for a journal. I have asked an academician to perform a review for the journal, to which they agreed. The reviewer is already 6 weeks late (6 weeks after the deadline), not ...
22
votes
3answers
853 views

When peer reviewers are public/open, are they less likely to be critical of a manuscript?

I have been peer reviewing scholarly manuscripts for more than 10 years, and I am always concerned that the quality of my reviews might be impacted by the fact that my name is made public to authors ...
22
votes
1answer
509 views

When suggesting referee names, where do you draw the line for conflict of interest?

Journal submission guidelines in my field typically require the submitting author to provide the editor with a list of potential referees. The journal guidelines ask to suggest people with whom we ...

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