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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: the Importance of Rejection, Power, and Editors in the Practice of Scientific Publishing

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: the Importance of Rejection, Power, and Editors in the Practice of Scientific Publishing

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Title: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: the Importance of Rejection, Power, and Editors in the Practice of Scientific Publishing
Author: Lortie, Christopher J.
Allesina, Stefano
Aarssen, Lonnie
Grod, Olyana
Budden, Amber E.
Abstract: Peer review is an important element of scientific communication but deserves quantitative examination. We used data from the handling service manuscript Central for ten mid-tier ecology and evolution journals to test whether number of external reviews completed improved citation rates for all accepted manuscripts. Contrary to a previous
study examining this issue using resubmission data as a proxy for reviews, we show that citation rates of manuscripts do not correlate with the number of individuals that provided reviews. Importantly, externally-reviewed papers do not outperform editor-only reviewed published papers in terms of visibility within a 5-year citation window. These findings suggest that in many instances editors can be all that is needed to review papers (or at least conduct the critical first review to assess general suitability) if the purpose of peer review is to primarily filter and that journals can consider reducing the number of referees associated with reviewing ecology and evolution papers.
Sponsor: This work was conducted as part of the “Role of publication-related biases in ecology” Working Group supported by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, a Center funded by NSF (grant #DEB- 0072909). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Publication was made possible by the York University Libraries' Open Access Author Fund.
Type: Article
Rights: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Attribution 2.5 Canada
10.1371/journal.pone.0085382 http://www.plosone.org/
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/ca/
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/27012
10.1371/journal.pone.0085382
Published: PLoS ONE
Series: PLoS ONE;8(12) ; York University Libraries' Open Access Author Fund
Citation: Lortie CJ, Allesina S, Aarssen L, Grod O, Budden AE (2013) With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: the Importance of Rejection, Power, and Editors in the Practice of Scientific Publishing. PLoS ONE 8(12): e85382. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085382
Date: 2013-12-30

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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.