Plenary Session Presentations

Re: Rewarding for the review process

Devendra K. Agrawal

On Tue Dec 15, Birendra N. Mallick wrote
>   I read the comments from several scientists regarding the pros and cons of the manuscript review process/es. While all the points have some merit(s), I have one point to add.

>    One of the possible ways to make the review process faster is to increase the reviewer base wider and larger. A large number of people are working in related fields. While some scientists receive several manuscripts at the same time for reviewing which take up a lot of their time, there are others, who receive not many but may spare time and return the review within reasonable time.

>    However, the critical question is how should the reviewers, from different parts of the world, be selected? For this also a wider/larger reviewer base is a must. Selection of reviewer should not be primarily based on the number of papers published by a person/scientist or a group. Number of paper publication also depends on several factors other than science per se e.g. the availability of persons/funds/equipment/chemicals, etc. Ideas expressed in the publications also should be a contributory factor while selecteing a reviewer.

>    A common arguement used to be the distance of the reviewer from the editorial office. But in today's faster mode of communication and postal/courier mechanism(s) that arguement may be negated. The journals may spend money (may be prepaid with reasonable validity date) for courier shipment of the review report from any part of the world. This is because, sometimes the reviewer(s) may be restricted by the funds to courier ship (which is costly) the comments (and the manuscript) and are forced to send by ordinary mail.

>    I am sure some journals are working in this direction, however, other journals may also actively persue in this line.

>    All the best,
>    BNM

December 15, 1998

In my experience as an associate editor, I try to recognize young qualified scientists as the reviewers of the manuscripts. They do a wonderful job.  In terms of reward for their time and effort, a letter to their chairman with a copy to the Dean would be the way to go.  I have also experienced that some of the qualified young scientists hesitate to accept the responsibility.  However, with the initial support of the editor/associate editor, they get encouragement and provide constructive criticisms.


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