From: Sally Morris <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2013 10:49:10 +0100
In my experience of managing quite a large number of journals (including
many medical journals), the norm was for the editor-in-chief (or, if the
journal was large, a designated section or regional editor) to identify at
least 3 (usually 3) appropriate reviewers, who were relatively rarely
members of the editorial board. Well organised journals had a large
database of suitably expert people, and kept records of their performance
and the load being placed upon them. The Editor-in-Chief was not involved in
first-stage reviewing, but did make the final decision on publication or
Where I discovered that the E-i-C, either alone or with occasional outside
advice, was doing all the 'peer review' himself, or was not using enough
reviewers to get a full picture, I did my utmost to remind him of how it was
supposed to be done - though of course this could be diplomatically
difficult in the case of Society-owned journals (the most usual culprits, to
Irene Hames' book on Peer Review lays out the proper procedure with
Email: [log in to unmask]
From: "Hamaker, Charles" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2013 06:18:59 +0000
I'm a bit puzzled, and hope someone can clarify,
The Internet Journal of Medical Education, states: "This is a peer reviewed
journal. Every published article has been reviewed by members of the
editorial board and the editor-in-chief. - "
Is this a standard means of doing peer review for medical journals?
I ask, in part because of Sandy"s and Anthony's discussion, but also because
this method, i.e. review by editorial board and editor seems to be the
standard means ISPUB uses for all its journals. Am I mistaken in this
I am also note the claim below from ISPUB and am interested in anything
besides the statement of 90 internet titles, backing it up.
What's the evidence on this?
"ISPUB.com s... has grown to be one of the largest independent online
I ask these questions because I regularly get questions from University
Faculty regarding the quality of the OA journals they run across or are
solicited for manuscripts for. They want to know about quality measures,
reputation, cost, impact, etc.
So, what am I to make of this system of reviewing, is it standard for
medical themed journals? For OA journals in particular?
I am aware that some journals not in medical fields use similar review
systems, without the full panoply of reviewers, blind review, double blind
etc. where the editor and editorial board make the basic determinations, but
wasn't aware that was also used for reviewing medical literature.
Any comments or insights welcome
From: Anthony Watkinson <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2013 09:14:42 +0100
I just do not entirely agree with this Ken. I speak as someone who has had
responsibility for hundreds of journals but finished my publishing career in
Now in some reputable companies there are no editors-in-chief and the final
decisions are made by in-house staff. I am told that decisions are mostly
easy to make on the basis of reports from referees
In many disreputable companies there may be an editor listed and there may
be an editorial board but are these people being asked to referee papers
and, if so, how is the decision to publish being reached? We do not know. I
have in the past asked editorial board members for new OA journals if they
were given anything to do and they have been surprised to find if they are
on the board. I was interested because the editorial board members were
people I knew and who were active in journals I was responsible for. I
wondered whether their new jobs were taking up time I wanted from them. Of
course I know that most good referees review for a number of journals.
It is more complicated now for all journals. When I started in publishing we
used to say to editors - how you decide on what is worthy to be published is
up to you and your referees. Our work starts when you deliver the
manuscript. Now the actual duties are described as Sandy pointed out in an
agreement and the publishers can see at least how quickly the refereeing is
being done through online editorial questions. Editors are called to account
or at least advised. There are clauses allowing dismissal of editors by the
publisher and maintenance of quality is one reason for dismissal - though I
am sure this is rarely invoked.