"This is why I don't blog." —Anonymous

In the previous post we saw there’s about a $35$% chance a given referee will agree to review a paper for Ergo. And on average it takes about $5.8$ tries to find two referees for a submission. The full empirical distribution looks like this: But there’s also an a priori way of exploring an editor’s predicament here, by using a classic model: the negative binomial distribution. So I thougth I’d make a little exercise of seeing how well the model captures the empirical reality here.... Read more

Finding willing referees is one of the more tedious parts of an editor’s job. And with all the talk about how overloaded the peer-review system is, it’s worth pausing to examine just how hard it is to find referees. Well, at Ergo it takes on average 5.8 tries before we find two referees to review a submission. The following plot gives the full picture. So most submissions take six or fewer invites, and the overwhelming majority require fewer than 10.... Read more

If waiting to hear back from journals makes you as twitchy as it makes me, you might appreciate Waiting for the Editor. It’s a little app that displays wait time forecasts and data from the APA Journal Survey. It has two kinds of display, based on my earlier post about the APA survey. You can view scatterplots: Or ridgeplots: Note that the ridgeplots can be misleading. They treat old data and new the same.... Read more

In 2009 Andrew Cullison set up an ongoing survey for philosophers to report their experiences submitting papers to various journals. For me, a junior philosopher working toward tenure at the time, it was a great resource. It was the best guide I knew to my chances of getting a paper accepted at Journal X, or at least getting rejected quickly by Journal Y. But I always wondered about self-selection bias.... Read more

A Times Higher Education piece making the rounds last week found that most published philosophy papers are never cited. More exactly, of the studied philosophy papers published in 2012, more than half had no citations indexed in Web of Science five years later. At Daily Nous, the discussion of that finding turned up some interesting follow-up questions and findings. In particular, Brian Weatherson found quite different figures for papers published in prestigious philosophy journals.... Read more

Update: editors at CJP and Phil Quarterly have kindly shared some important, additional information. See the edit below for details. A new paper on the representation of women in philosophy journals prompted some debate in the philosophy blogosphere last week. The paper found women to be underrepresented across a range of prominent journals, yet overrepresented in the two journals studied where review was non-anonymous. Commenters over at Daily Nous complained about the lack of base-rate data.... Read more

Starting in July, philosophy’s two most prestigious journals won’t reject submitted papers anymore. Instead they’ll “grade” every submission, assigning a rating on the familiar letter-grade scale (A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, etc.). They will, in effect, become ratings agencies. They’ll still publish papers. Those rated A- or higher can be published in the journal, if the authors want. Or they can seek another venue, if they think they can do better.... Read more

We’ve all been there. One referee is positive, the other negative, and the editor decides to reject the submission. I’ve heard it said editors tend to be conservative given the recommendations of their referees. And that jibes with my experience as an author. So is there anything to it—is “editorial gravity” a real thing? And if it is, how strong is its pull? Is there some magic function editors use to compute their decision based on the referees’ recommendations?... Read more

We looked at author gender in a previous post, today let’s consider referees. Does their gender have any predictive value? Once again our discussion only covers men and women because we don’t have the data to support a deeper analysis.1 Using data from Ergo, we’ll consider the following questions: Requests. How are requests to referee distributed between men and women? Are men more likely to be invited, for example?... Read more

Spare a thought for Reviewer 2, that much-maligned shade of academe. There’s even a hashtag dedicated to the joke: A rare glimpse of reviewer 2, seen here in their natural habitat pic.twitter.com/lpT1BVhDCX — Aidan McGlynn (@AidanMcGlynn) January 15, 2017 But is it just a joke? Order could easily matter here. Referees invited later weren’t the editor’s first choice, after all. Maybe they’re less competent, less likely to appreciate your brilliant insights as an author.... Read more

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