I have read your question several times to understand what you are complaining about. Many answers are discussing poor quality of published material.
I have an Elsevier paper (will add link here when published) for proofreading
This note may shine a slightly different light on the issue. Maybe the scenario was:
Editor has recieved .docx manuscript with ...
Here is another complaint. The typesetters are simply not doing their
This was the email that the editor of the journal, where our paper was accepted, sent to the chief of the Elsevier production team (and put us in cc) as a result of our complaint regarding the mess that the typesetters induced on our manuscript.
Here is the story. After receiving ...
It's all about how the education system treats this topic. Most people are happy with a fast-written Word document as long as what they want to discuss in the paper is there. They neglect the fact that proper presentation is essential.
Sadly proper typesetting isn't something that is actively thought at universities, which is a rather interesting situation ...
One issue that I have run into is the outsourced typesetting staff ignoring the provided images and using Acrobat to clip the image out of the author PDF, which rasterizes it at what seems to be the screen resolution.
Publishers will adhere to their own style sheet. Just because you supply a photo-ready version of your document, there should be no expectation that it will be published as is. There should be absolutely no expectation that your font choice is followed, as fonts are a matter of journal style. Further, the journal fonts might not even be open source or ...
Because they are incompetent.
That's about it, really. But don't lump all publishers/journals as one - the typesetters for one journal might not be the same as that for another journal, even one published by the same publisher, and of course there are good and bad employees everywhere.
If there were a strict definition and satisfying it became important, then the disreputable journals would find a way to game that.
It's straightforward to determine whether a journal is reputable: ask the experts (the word reputable, after all, refers to reputation). Experts here means, for instance, faculty working in the relevant field at reputable ...
No, there isn't. Different journals/publishers will have different guidelines.
Here're some examples of publicly-published reviewer guidelines:
To illustrate the differences, Wiley's guidelines say "What is the main question addressed by the research? Is it relevant and interesting?" (emphasis mine). Meanwhile PLOS One doesn't care ...
is there a commonly-agreed-on definition of what this means?
Generally, good peer-review means that experts in your field carefully read your work and evaluate its merit. The definitions of "experts" and "carefully" vary widely across disciplines. Some fields require several rounds of meticulous back-and-forth between author and journal; others are less ...