When journal editors play favorites

Citation data:

Philosophical Studies, ISSN: 0031-8116, Vol: 175, Issue: 4, Page: 831-858

Publication Year:
2018
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14837; http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12941
DOI:
10.1007/s11098-017-0895-4
Author(s):
Heesen, Remco
Publisher(s):
Springer Nature; Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
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article description
Should editors of scientific journals practice triple-anonymous reviewing? I consider two arguments in favor. The first says that insofar as editors' decisions are affected by information they would not have had under triple-anonymous review, an injustice is committed against certain authors. I show that even well-meaning editors would commit this wrong and I endorse this argument. The second argument says that insofar as editors' decisions are affected by information they would not have had under triple-anonymous review, it will negatively affect the quality of published papers. I distinguish between two kinds of biases that an editor might have. I show that one of them has a positive effect on quality and the other a negative one, and that the combined effect could be either positive or negative. Thus I do not endorse the second argument in general. However, I do endorse this argument for certain fields, for which I argue that the positive effect does not apply.