Editorial overkill – Springer

“Mandatory revision in accordance with reviewers’ comments has apparently become the norm for articles published in certain quarters. Of the regular articles published in the 9-year period 1972-1980 by a sample of highly reputable journals (British Journal ofPsychology, Econometrica, and the Journal ofthe American Statistical Association), 68% to 99% had to be revised subsequent to submission. These high rates of coerced revision place enormous power in the hands of
reviewers to enforce conformity to their views while largely escaping responsibility, or accountability, for their actions. This situation is conducive to a variety of abuses that detract from the efficiency of the peer-review system and therefore constitute editorial overkill. These abuses are extensively discussed and illustrated.” (Abstract)

“The honor is apparently interpreted by some referees as implying their superiority to the author and by others as a license to impose their views upon him and to force the inclusion of their views, and even their literary style, in the author’s article . By some, the chore seems to be minimized by criticizing the article on the basis of a hasty and careless glancereading. Others, slightly more conscientious, apparently resort
to the ploy of reading the manuscript carefully enough only to detect the trivial and easily discovered literary and scientific peccadillos, but not the important scientific flaws, which are far harder to find, Their review of the article, then , amounts to little more than “cataloging the trivia’.’ in a perfunctory effort to convince the editor that they have done their job .”


Source: Editorial overkill – Springer