[Air-L] to name reviewers or not

Johann Höchtl johann.hoechtl at donau-uni.ac.at
Sat Sep 7 22:35:55 PDT 2013

On 2013-09-08 00:12, Barry Wellman wrote:
> dear Prof Hechtl,
> I strongly believe the opposite: instead of "more qualitative work" (I 
> assume you meant "quality work", we will only get very positive 
> reviews which won't be able to sort out the gold from the wheat from 
> the chaff -- as few people want to get added to enemies' lists
I see what you mean, however I am uncertain to whom reviewers are more 
obliged: To the authors or to the readers. I see that a negative verdict 
might and surely will raise negative sentiments in the authors. But it 
is unlikely that the authors will review a paper by the reviewer right 
at the same time and reviewing shouldn't be about destroying a paper but 
giving helpful advice anyway.

> PS: 5 reviewers/article seems an awful lot.
Sure, this is the max. But 5 called reviews will return 2 or 3 
meaningful ones with some reviewers not responding or delivering 
unacceptable reviews. Maybe this should tell us stgh. about our reviewers ;)
>   Barry Wellman
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> ________________________________________________________________________
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Sat, 07 Sep 2013 12:49:26 +0200
>> From: Johann H?chtl <johann.hoechtl at donau-uni.ac.at>
>> To: air-l at aoir.org
>> Subject: [Air-L] Add the contact details of reviewers to published,
>>     peer-reviewed papers
>> Message-ID: <522B04B6.5050906 at donau-uni.ac.at>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>> Dear colleagues,
> [snip]
>> Sure, it is our liability to carefully select reviewers. And most of the
>> time reviews are voluntary carried out in spare time. However, apart
>> from these arguments justifying hasty reviews, what strikes me is the
>> fact that the reviewers identities are kept in secrecy.
>> I don't know where this habit comes from, but it must be somewhere
>> deeply enshrined, as I am not aware of a style manual which describes
>> where to put and how to format reviewer contact details of papers
>> (though there might be such).
>> Knowing the reviewers of papers, both the authors as well as the reader,
>> has a couple of advantages:
>> * The reviewer is more obliged to deliver qualitative work as the paper
>> is under public scrutiny in respect to her / his effort put into
>> reviewing the paper.
>> * The reviewer is especially obliged to the authors as her / his verdict
>> will have to be carefully justified.
>> * These forces will increase the quality of a papers.
>> * It will encourage scientific discourse
>> Though there are also possible disadvantages:
>> * There might be less papers published as reviews will be carried out
>> with increased rigor and reviewers more tending to reject than to
>> approve to avoid qualitative discussions afterwards.
>> I for one will start to discuss this topic with our journal editors and
>> gather their opinions.
>> This is a general topic and should this be inappropriate for this
>> mailing list I apologize and will put it on a blog.
>> Regards,
>>    Johann
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Dr. Johann Höchtl
Zentrum für E-Governance
Donau-Universität Krems
Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Straße 30
A-3500 Krems
Tel.: ++43 2732 893 2304
Mail: Johann.hoechtl at donau-uni.ac.at

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