We’ve recently updated our guidelines for referees and we’ve posted them on our website in case they’re useful for authors too
One of the always-frustrating aspects of being a copy editor is that it requires an obsessive nature as well as a willingness to accept that perfection isn’t possible; no matter how many times your check the proofs, there’ll always be something that makes it into the final version. Obviously enough, such obsessiveness and knowing when to let go aren’t traits often found to co-exist in one mere human. And in correcting others’ mistakes—and in writing posts such as this—Muphry’s law looms large. All in all, you’re asking for trouble. But despite opening the door to public ridicule, we thought we’d add to our ‘how to’ series with something on copy-editing.
As we’ve mentioned in various places before (for example, here), the BJPS operates a triple-masked system. That means that none of the paperwork you submit should identify you. Sounds straightforward, right? And yet, and yet…
So, you’ve submitted your paper to the BJPS and waited with bated breath for, well, hopefully not too long, and then your email pings! And there is the longed for response…
It hardly needs saying that referees are essential to the functioning of journals, and the discipline as a whole. Refereeing a paper is a service to the academic community. Those that take this duty seriously don’t just help the editors and the authors; we all benefit from having published papers be as polished as they can be. I’ve written before about the fact that the production of excellent papers is by no means an individualistic endeavour. It takes an academic village to raise a paper! And we all know how busy everyone is, and how refereeing has to be managed alongside all the other teaching, research, and administrative duties that demand attention. All this is to say that we in no way underestimate the hard work done by our referees; on the contrary, we are very grateful indeed.
Often when authors email to ask about the progress of their paper, they begin with, ‘I’m sure you get lots of these emails…’, or words to that effect. They’re right, we do. Lots and lots, even with our pretty respectable turnaround times. I don’t mean to suggest that authors should never chase up a paper—sometimes […]
This is the first in our new ‘how to’ series. Various members of our editorial team will be sharing their dos and don’ts for authors hoping to have their papers published with us, or elsewhere. Along the way, the mechanics of academic journals in general, and the BJPS in particular, should become plain. In this series, we’ll cover common questions we are asked, and we welcome suggestions for topics you would like to hear more about. Our first installment comes from Co-Chief Editor Steven French, with advice on how to dodge the dreaded desk rejection.