A recent opinion paper by a naive junior scholar fits in with some of the more wacko ideas that people have been bandying about. I have to say that I know where all this shit is coming from: people thinking far too highly of their own work and having no understanding of or respect for the work of journal editors and reviewers. But the sheer ignorance of these proposals is shocking. How do you think this would play out, and why?
Today I received a request from the co-editors of Social Currents, where I serve on the editorial board. They had a paper in my area which had been under review for “too long” and they can’t get the person who agreed to review it to even respond to e-mails (they must be boycotting Sage or something….). I’ve already reviewed a lot of papers for them this year, so they asked very politely for another “and can you make it quick…please?” They work very hard to keep turnaround time down, and using editorial board members in situations like this is one of the most effective ways to do that. Tomorrow, they’ll have a review and will be able to render a decision, and I suspect that it will be an accept or conditional accept.
Now, in the weirdo world where “times have changed…” and we need a new model that gives agency to authors and all of that bullshit blather, this yahoo claims that we should now negotiate. Rather than publishing the paper in the journal where the editors worked hard to find reviewers, editorial board members sacrificed to help ensure a timely decision, and reviewers read and reviewed a paper with an eye of it being published in Social Currents, the authors are now going to negotiate? What, Toni and Vinnie should send it on to Notre Dame and have it published in ASR? Why? You mean Social Currents should have a cooperative agreement with Soc. Forum and TSQ and Social Forces that enables authors to choose which journal they want to see their work published in? Why would journals sponsored by different associations and published on varied presses cooperate? So, because Toni and Vinnie are excellent editors and are busting out decisions in fair and timely manner everyone should submit to Social Currents, and then when they accept it, you think it is ok to pull the rug out from under them? You think editors should have to negotiate with authors after acceptance? Then, you think the editors should have to coordinate with other editors? I guess you must think that editors aren’t working hard enough….
This is just idiocy. The people touting this bullshit are completely out of touch. The narcissism and selfishness are really grating. I implore people to think a bit harder about what goes in to editing a journal. I ask once again for people to just shut the fuck up and do your god damned reviews. Once you’ve written a few hundred reviews for a few dozen journals, and maybe been on an editorial board or edited a journal, then you can make some proposals. And, I can guarantee you that portable publication is not going to be one of them.