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.