The Royal Society of Chemistry: Raising a question

The RSC publishes a journal and jj-partner uncovered that while they reject only 70% of the papers submitted (standard for chemistry, he says), 50% of the total number of papers are NOT sent  out for peer review.  Further, participating in the  initial culling are people who are pretty far from being peers, as far as he can determine.  E.g., they may not have doctorates in chemistry.  And yet they are supposed to judge on the professional qualities of the papers, including originality,  interest, in addition to qualities of competence.

Is this one of those nice cases where we can be happy that at least leading journals in our field are not that bad, or in fact might some be just that bad?  E.g., are grad students  sometimes sorting through our work?  This is decidedly a worry for feminist philosophers, since one suspects initial culling is often not done with the author’s identity unavailable, and that typically reduces the likelihood of a woman’s paper being accepted.

2 thoughts on “The Royal Society of Chemistry: Raising a question

  1. What exactly is the issue with graduate students sorting through “our” work? Some of us readers here are grad students. Enough with the hierarchies already!

  2. Michelle, I’m not sure what your point is. In fact, I don’t have much faith in peer review, but I do think people become better judges of philosophical quality through getting a degree and teaching. In a lot of fields there is expertise that really requires a lot of work to acquire.

    Still, I expect I did unfortunately seem to distinguish between “us” and “graduate students,” but I’m not sure why – someone writing about teaching here might use an expression that seems to imply that everyone reading the blog teaches, but probably they don’t think that. I was writing about publishing, and I’m still not used to thinking of grad students as publishing; I’m not sure there was anything more to my comment than that. Turns of phrase can be the result of a temporary focus.

Comments are closed.