Saturday, August 31, 2013

Double blind reviewing

"Double blind reviewing" is the practice in some academic journals of not only concealing the reviewers' identities from the authors, but of also concealing the authors' identities from the reviewers. The idea is that papers should be evaluated "on their own merits," without information about the authors. The controversies that arise have to do with whether there is valuable information in knowing who the authors are.  For a number of years the American Economic Review tried to have double blind reviewing (that was somewhat undermined by the growing ease of finding papers on the internet), but they abandoned this practice a few years ago.

I was reminded of this by the story of J.K. Rowling's (of Harry Potter fame) venture into publishing a story under a pseudonym, later revealed...

‘Cuckoo’s Calling’ Reveals Long Odds for New Authors

"“The Cuckoo’s Calling” became the publishing sensation of the summer when word leaked that its first-time author, Robert Galbraith, was none other than J. K. Rowling, the mega-best-selling creator of Harry Potter.

"Mystery solved? Maybe not. It’s no surprise that “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” a detective story set in a London populated by supermodels and rock stars, shot to the top of best-seller lists once the identity of the author was revealed. But if the book is as good as critics are now saying it is, why didn’t it sell more copies before, especially since the rise of online publishing has supposedly made it easier than ever for first-time authors?"

No comments: