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Re: [tlug] Journals, Authors and 'Free Peer Review'

On Tuesday, September 25, 2018 05:06 PM, Curt Sampson wrote:
On 2018-09-20 22:14 +0800 (Thu), Raymond Wan wrote:
Still with publishing, some authors choose to release their work
publicly first on open access preprint repositories ... Journals
have to accept this... with some conditions.  (i.e., that you've
declared it and that, after all the pretty formatting is done by the
journal, this final version isn't made public).

Except that it seems that the pretty formatting is almost invariably
done by the author, not the journal. At least in the world of
LaTeX-using journals, they expect a source file using their templates
and whatnot that will produce camera-ready copy.

Unfortunately, moving outside of the engineering fields leads to publishers that still ask for manuscripts formatted using Microsoft. Like many of you, I've used LaTeX for many years...but if that's what they want, that's what they want. Even if they gave authors an option between the two, the other hard part is convincing your colleagues and many who aren't from engineering are quite happy with Word.

Assuming you have your manuscript accepted, the publisher sends it to (what I think is) a third party who then reformats it according to the journal's specifications. You then get a look and nitpick at how many mistakes they made.

I have no idea why they haven't moved to LaTeX...definitely moving at a snail's pace...

I'm not so sure if this works as it seems to be a way for authors to
"have their cake and eat it".... They get "free peer review" via
their peers on Twitter...
Oh come on. Journals don't pay for peer review (via real reviews, not
Twitter) either. They expect people working in the field to do review
for them for free. Nor do they usually pay their editorial committees,

Well, perhaps I don't mean "free" in the sense of the journals paying for it. I guess I meant that authors get people to look at their manuscript without the "cost" of having submitted it to a journal. Because if you submit it to a journal and get it rejected, you can't submit it there again without substantial changes.

So, I guess that's what I meant by "free".

But it's the state of some research fields now and I think journals
are forced to accept it in order to compete with others [for now]?

The problem is that the journals aren't providing much beyond some
coordination work, printing (for those still taking paper copies) and
another place to download the PDF. Given the massive increases in
subscription prices for many of them, it's no suprise a lot of authors
wonder just what the journal is doing for the quite nice profits most
of them are making. (And this is why predatory journals have grown so
much over the last decade or so: it's just not very much work to
produce a new 'journal' now.)

Oh...I'm not here to defend journals.

But I don't think we can deny that there is still a difference in terms of perception by readers. I can write a page about the pros and cons of publishers and put it in a blog...perhaps some people will read it. Or, I can write the same text but work for some newspaper like the Washington Post and suddenly more people will take notice.

Predatory journals aside, the journals that have lasted for a long time have a vested interest in keeping the quality of their name up. Of course, we will see how long they can keep that up...


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