Scientific journal ratings

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Is there anywhere we can rate each (scientific) journals?
Publication ethics is for both sides. Not only authors should follow some ethics, but editors should also follow.
There are some journal editors not following praction ethics.
 

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  • #2
berkeman
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Is there anywhere we can rate each (scientific) journals?
Publication ethics is for both sides. Not only authors should follow some ethics, but editors should also follow.
There are some journal editors not following praction ethics.
Yelp?
 
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  • #3
ZapperZ
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Is there anywhere we can rate each (scientific) journals?
Publication ethics is for both sides. Not only authors should follow some ethics, but editors should also follow.
There are some journal editors not following praction ethics.
Really? Such as which journal editors? And what exactly is "praction ethics"? I had to override my spellchecker to be able to type that.

Zz.
 
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  • #4
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I know some technical journals have a letters to the editors sections where people often call out incorrect information from the previous release.

Which editors are you referring to? The peer reviewers or the copy editor? Peer reviewers don't really care about grammar, only that the language is precise. Copy editors probably often don't even understand the article, they just edit grammar and organization.
 
  • #5
ZapperZ
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I know some technical journals have a letters to the editors sections where people often call out incorrect information from the previous release.

Which editors are you referring to? The peer reviewers or the copy editor? Peer reviewers don't really care about grammar, only that the language is precise. Copy editors probably often don't even understand the article, they just edit grammar and organization.
But ALL journals, worth its salt, will have a means for someone else to write a rebuttal or respond to any paper published in it. Any journal that doesn't allow that is a fake journal.

Still, publishing contradicting paper and being able to respond to a published paper is a part of the scientific process. This is why anything that wants to be validated has to be published first. It is the first step in having those in the same area of study to scrutinize, examine, and maybe even try to reproduce the result. It is part of the long process of having it verified.

Editors of journals have many different functions, depending on the journals. Editors of Nature, Science, and Phys. Rev. journals have a lot more direct responsibilities as the "gatekeepers". These are themselves scientists in those various fields, and they often attend seminar, conferences, colloquiums to keep up with the various topics in these fields. In fact, my guess is that less than half of papers sent in to Science and Nature get through the first pass by the editors to be sent to the referees. So these editors play a significant role in selecting papers that get evaluated.

Peer reviewers are not generally considered as "editors" or part of the journal's organization, so they should not be referred to as such. If the OP is confusing these referees to be "editors", then he/she needs to reword the entire thread.

Zz.
 
  • #6
Ygggdrasil
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There clearly are "predatory" journals that are more interested in collecting publishing fees than in ensuring that the papers they publish are correct. See the discussion from this PF thread. However, these journals are generally very low profile and low impact.

Jeffrey Beall, a librariran at CU Denver, used to maintain a blacklist of predatory journals, but no longer maintains this list.

Most reputable scientific publishers are members of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The site has many resources detailing ethics guidelines for authors and editors.
 
  • #7
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I know some technical journals have a letters to the editors sections where people often call out incorrect information from the previous release.

Which editors are you referring to? The peer reviewers or the copy editor? Peer reviewers don't really care about grammar, only that the language is precise. Copy editors probably often don't even understand the article, they just edit grammar and organization.
I am talking about "peer review editor" (more precisely the guy sitting behind the computer) instead of "copy editor".
I have ever submitted papers to some journals (not only one, actually nowadays many) they returned without sending to peer review. Not even with a reason.
Their journal policy stated clearly "all papers are referred". But the guy sitting behind the computer is sitting on top of all referee.
Yes, my paper (actually several papers) might be poor but they have override their journal policy which posted publically.

The guy sitting behind the computer should only function mechanically instead of expressing their opinion.
If they are qualified as a referee, they may also write a referee report instead of super-referee.
 
  • #8
ZapperZ
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I am talking about "peer review editor" (more precisely the guy sitting behind the computer) instead of "copy editor".
I have ever submitted papers to some journals (not only one, actually nowadays many) they returned without sending to peer review. Not even with a reason.
Their journal policy stated clearly "all papers are referred". But the guy sitting behind the computer is sitting on top of all referee.
Yes, my paper (actually several papers) might be poor but they have override their journal policy which posted publically.

The guy sitting behind the computer should only function mechanically instead of expressing their opinion.
If they are qualified as a referee, they may also write a referee report instead of super-referee.
If your "paper" resembles anything like the way you write here, then those editors have done their jobs. There is nothing unethical about this.

The fact that your submission was universally rejected should cause you to look at your shortcoming rather than blame these editors and wanting to give those journals a poor review.

Zz.
 
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  • #9
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The fact that your submission was universally rejected should cause you to look at your shortcoming rather than blame these editors and wanting to give those journals a poor review.
I think this is a good point. It is certainly possible that one journal may have a poor editor, but if you submitted to several then on average you will have been reviewed by average reviewers. If they uniformly reject your paper without review then it must fall far short of the community's expectations.
 
  • #10
Choppy
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@qnach
I wrote an Insights Article on Peer Review a while ago that might help you understand the process.

It's important to remember that a journal editor (or associate editor) is not ethically bound to send out all submissions for peer review. While their policy may state something along the lines of "all papers are referred" there should also be a caveat in there somewhere that prior to referral the manuscript needs to meet a certain set of standards: the topic must be appropriate for the journal's scope and target audience, the format needs to conform with the journal's guidelines, the language needs to be clear and coherent, etc.

Remember that the reviewers are volunteers. If a paper clearly does not meet the journal's standards, sending it out to them is a waste of everyone's time. Further, it risks damaging the relationship of the journal with the reviewers as they won't want to volunteer their time for something that should have been stopped before it got to them. If the paper falls outside the journal's scope, the associate editor may not be able to find anyone appropriate to refer the paper to, and it would be a disservice both to the referees and to the authors if they were try to reach outside of their field.

All of that said, I know it's not a great feeling to have your work come back rejected. If you're having a hard time, perhaps you should meet with your supervisor if you're a graduate student, or other people who work in your field if you're a post-doc, and solicit some honest feedback.
 
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  • #11
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@qnach
I wrote an Insights Article on Peer Review a while ago that might help you understand the process.

It's important to remember that a journal editor (or associate editor) is not ethically bound to send out all submissions for peer review. While their policy may state something along the lines of "all papers are referred" there should also be a caveat in there somewhere that prior to referral the manuscript needs to meet a certain set of standards: the topic must be appropriate for the journal's scope and target audience, the format needs to conform with the journal's guidelines, the language needs to be clear and coherent, etc.

Remember that the reviewers are volunteers. If a paper clearly does not meet the journal's standards, sending it out to them is a waste of everyone's time. Further, it risks damaging the relationship of the journal with the reviewers as they won't want to volunteer their time for something that should have been stopped before it got to them. If the paper falls outside the journal's scope, the associate editor may not be able to find anyone appropriate to refer the paper to, and it would be a disservice both to the referees and to the authors if they were try to reach outside of their field.

All of that said, I know it's not a great feeling to have your work come back rejected. If you're having a hard time, perhaps you should meet with your supervisor if you're a graduate student, or other people who work in your field if you're a post-doc, and solicit some honest feedback.
as I said
1. the journal I mentioned said they will.
2. the guy is sitting on-top of the referee!
 
  • #12
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as I said
1. the journal I mentioned said they will.
2. the guy is sitting on-top of the referee!
Was this one journal or multiple journals? Your story is inconsistent.

As @Choppy mentioned, journals with such statements usually qualify the offer of peer review with certain requirements. Read all of the instructions, not just one line.
 
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  • #13
TeethWhitener
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There clearly are "predatory" journals that are more interested in collecting publishing fees than in ensuring that the papers they publish are correct. See the discussion from this PF thread. However, these journals are generally very low profile and low impact.

Jeffrey Beall, a librariran at CU Denver, used to maintain a blacklist of predatory journals, but no longer maintains this list.

Most reputable scientific publishers are members of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The site has many resources detailing ethics guidelines for authors and editors.
Wow, really sad to see Jeffrey Beall's site is gone. It was really useful to me as a quick sniff test for invited papers.
 
  • #14
DrClaude
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as I said
1. the journal I mentioned said they will.
2. the guy is sitting on-top of the referee!
What the journal means by "all papers are refereed" is that all published papers have gone through peer review. And the editor is doing their job! My time as an unpaid referee is precious, and I don't want to waste it reading through papers that not are worth it. It is the editor's job to weed out the stuff that definitely won't make it through peer review, instead of wasting the referees' time.
 
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  • #15
ZapperZ
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What the journal means by "all papers are refereed" is that all published papers have gone through peer review. And the editor is doing their job! My time as an unpaid referee is precious, and I don't want to waste it reading through papers that not are worth it. It is the editor's job to weed out the stuff that definitely won't make it through peer review, instead of wasting the referees' time.
I agree with DrClaude.

What you submitted is not called a "paper". It is called a "manuscript". If they claim that all submitted manuscript will be refereed, then it is one thing. I've yet to read any reputable journal that will say that, considering the amount of crackpottery these journals receive each day. If they send every single thing that they receive to the referees, the referees will be inundated with stuff to read, including things that should never have gotten to them in the first place. There's no quicker way to have a referee turn down a review request then to flood him/her with manuscript upon manuscript of bad science.

Zz.
 
  • #16
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If they claim that all submitted manuscript will be refereed, then it is one thing. I've yet to read any reputable journal that will say that
Same here. I have only seen predatory publishers say that. However, it would be almost unheard of for such a journal to reject any author and miss getting the fee.

I think that @DrClaude and you are on the most likely suggestion: that it is a legitimate journal which is claiming that all published papers are peer reviewed, and that @qnach is just misunderstanding the statement and taking it to mean that they will peer review anything.
 
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  • #17
Vanadium 50
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and that @qnach is just misunderstanding the statement
And that's a good argument not to have a system where people who misunderstand the process can downvote journals.
 
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