Reviewer credits

Today I completed a referee’s (anonymous) report for Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology  and I received the following acknowledgement:

Thank you very much for submitting your review of the manuscript “xxxxxx” for Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology. We greatly appreciate your efforts. Should the manuscript be accepted for publication, you will receive a blind copy of the publication notification to the author(s).

Thank you very much also for your promptness. Accordingly, we are pleased to credit your account in the Authors & Reviewers’ Bank with 1 credit(s) for this review. We hope that you will soon use these credits to submit a paper of your own, so that you can take advantage of and enjoy the same prompt attention during the peer review process for your manuscript.

Thank you again for your help. We hope you will send manuscripts to us and continue to referee for us in the near future.

This is a fairly interesting refereeing system where one gains credits (1 or 2) for refereeing papers and burns credits (2 or 3) when submitting papers. In case of a deficit at submission time, one must promise to referee two papers in the near future and leave a credit card deposit against the possibility one later renegade on this promise! The charge is then $200! Rather direct, but fair in the way that one has to referee papers if one expects others to referee one’s papers. (I wonder if there is a black market for selling those credits…!)

4 Responses to “Reviewer credits”

  1. […] Xi’an’s Og encounters a very real credit system for authors and reviewers. […]

  2. Fair enough, as long as they pay you back if you acumulate credit and never submit a paper at the journal, right? Or, as you pointed, as long as they accept people to negotiate their credits on the market…

  3. Another way to see it: the reward you get when you review is … a voucher to submit in *their* journal. As in the supermarket: you “win” by getting the right to buy more of them/feed them more resources.

    Publishers used to make money out of scholars by getting their articles for free, getting their reviews for free, and having scholars pay for the journal. Then they introduced page costs, to have scholars pay to submit papers. Now they have you pay to be reviewed — by other scholars who do it for free.

    Just brilliant. I want to hire their Business Exec. Or chastise their clients — oh wait, that’s us. And we’re their providers too. Time to re-read some parts of Devroye’s and Pitman’s posts: http://cg.scs.carleton.ca/~luc/blindreferee.html and http://stat-www.berkeley.edu/users/pitman/tworules.html

  4. Dan Simpson Says:

    “The debt is also canceled in the event that an author does not receive an editorial decision within 10 weeks. Berkeley Electronic Press system’s great innovation is its fast turnaround from initial submission to an editorial decision. It is, thus, possible that an article can be published, in a peer-reviewed journal, just 10 weeks after it is submitted. Should Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology fail to provide an editorial decision within 10 weeks, then the journal will refund the submission fee, if any, and any debts incurred at the A&R Bank for this submission will be forgiven.”

    Although Genetics and Molecular Biology are about as far from what I do as possible (similar distance – papyrology), I’m suddenly tempted to submit to this journal. A response within 3 months – the impossible dream!

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