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Christina's LIS Rant
Thursday, June 01, 2006
  Another impact of the proliferation of journals
I was just browsing the viewpoint piece by Les Grivell: "Through a glass darkly: The present and the future of editorial peer review" (2006) EMBO Reports 7, 567–570 doi:10.1038/sj.embor.7400718.

One of the points he makes is that the best peer reviewers tend to be younger and publish a lot. There are a limited number of desirable reviewers for each paper and he expresses concern of reviewer fatigue.

A lot of the things he says in the piece I've seen elsewhere, but I don't know that I'd thought of how the proliferation of journals is impacting the quality of peer review, but I guess it must. Interesting how this is in a journal published by NPG ;)
 
Comments:
This will require further thought. I do not see off the top why the proliferation of journals alone should have this negative effect. And, I'm not sure the generalization about younger persons making better reviewers holds up. The danger to peer review is more submissions (from more researchers world-wide), yet a decline in the sense of reciprocity to the community to adequate performance of the reviewing function. Some people simply do not agree to referee, even though they themselves might expect to receive a peer review through that same journal.
 
Re younger: he's implying that they've read more recently and are more up to date so that's why they are preferred as reviewers. Apparently he's citing some research and not just making a generalization.

You're probably right about the decline in reciprocity.
 
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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

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