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Tackling the Fear

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:05 GMT

Author: Susanne Mccabe
Position: retired
Institution: n/a
Additional Authors: n/a
Submitted Date: February 07, 2007
Published Date: February 7, 2007
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

So fear of peers is a fact of academic life but could there not be other ways of tackling it than 'hiding'. Jeanne-Etienne Fabre's suggestion goes a way to ensure a review would be more honest, but paradoxically by making the process less transparent. Liz Wager's suggestion it seems to me is rather too secretive and problematic in that - small groups of people only (Editors and colleagues, reviewers and possibly their colleagues) would be aware of any concerns about authors work; the authors themselves would have no opportunity of 'defending' or explaining causes of concerns about their work; how would non- acceptance for publication by a Journal be explained to the author if these are not openly discussed? and how would it prevent work being published elsewhere in other journals where reviewers might not pick up on concerns?

Would it be possible to carry out a trial whereby reviewers and authors agree that reviews could be published - with a follow up of any negative consequences to authors themselves, reviewers and editiors.

No competing interests declared.