MEPS 258:297-309 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/meps258297

Misuse of the peer-review system: time for countermeasures?

Idea and coordination: Hans Ulrik Riisgård

Marine Biological Research Centre (University of Southern Denmark), Hindsholmvej 11, 5300 Kerteminde, Denmark

Contributors: Otto Kinne, Tom Fenchel, Everett Fee, Ray Hesslein, Jim Elser, Mary Scranton, Jon Cole, Nelson Hairston, Elizabeth Canuel, Ronnie Glud, Claus Nielsen, Peter Beninger, Rune Waagbø, Gro Ingunn Hemre, Gideon Hulata, Tore Høisæter, Donald McLusky, Ron Kneib, Sandra Shumway, Richard Warwick, Lars Hagerman, Poul Scheel Larsen, Jörg Ott, Peter C. Dworschak, Ferdinando Boero, Josep-Maria Gili, Katja Philippart, Matthias Seaman

ABSTRACT: The peer-review system is overloaded. This causes problems for reviewers and editors. The focus of this Theme Section (TS) is misuse of the peer-review system by repeated resubmission of unchanged manuscripts (mss). A number of editors and experienced reviewers were invited for comments. Most contributors have seen examples of authors resubmitting mss to new journals after rejection without considering the criticisms of former reviewers. No contributor objects to resubmission of mss to other journals, but all object to authors resubmitting a rejected ms practically unchanged to another journal. For some journals this is not a serious problem, but for others this practice is common and it needs to be stopped. It is fair to give authors a chance for a second opinion on their mss. Most authors take reviewer's reports into consideration before sending the ms to another journal, but many never inform the new journal that the ms had previously been rejected.

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