Friday, February 22, 2008

Submitting referee's report

This is sort of a follow-up to a recent post about refereeing journal papers. I just submitted a referee report for a paper submitted to Elsevier's Games and Economic Behavior journal. Now, I initially just emailed it to the editor, and he asked me to upload it via their website. Doing that, I found that they keep track of a previous report I submitted for GEB a year or so earlier. The significance of this is that referees can actually build up some sort of track record of their contributions, which is kept on a centralised database. This has the potential for researchers to gain some sort of credit for their refereeing work, which as mentioned in my previous post, is currently missing. As a result, the slightly tedious process of uploading a review via a website, suddenly makes a whole lot more sense to me. I would even go so far as to say that it helps to justify having large numbers of journals under the control of a single publisher (such as Elsevier), if they can ultimately allow reports for submissions to other Elsevier journals to share the same database as GEB, for example. (The context for that observation is the common complaint that profit-making publishers are increasingly an obstacle to the effective dissemination of research results, rather than as assistance.)

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