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Book: Research Ethics, Manuscript Review, and Journal Quality
Published by: American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America



  1.  p. 35-53
    Research Ethics, Manuscript Review, and Journal Quality

    H.F. Mayland and R.E. Sojka (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-259-7


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American Society of Agronomy Member Experiences and Perceptions of the Peer Reviewing-Editing Process

  1. R. E. Sojka,
  2. H. F. Mayland and
  3. E. E. Gbur
  1. USDA-ARS, Kimberly, Idaho
    Agricultural Statistics Laboratory, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas


A membership survey regarding policies and attitudes germane to the peer reviewing and editing practices and policies of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America was deemed worthwhile. A second survey queried agricultural experiment station directors on related institutional aspects of the same topic. Briefly, responses indicated good demographic representation of editorial boards with some underrepresentation of non-U.S. addressed members. One-third of the membership has served on the editorial board of some journal, and 1 in 7.4 has served on the editorial board of a Tri-Society journal. Females are used as reviewers one-third as often in proportion to their membership as are males. The publishing membership of the Tri-Societies is essentially those members with Ph.D.’s. Two-thirds of the papers submitted to Tri-Society journals require institutional review before journal submission. There is twice the support among the membership for dual anonymity (author and reviewers) as for reviewer anonymity only (the current policy). Nearly one-half the membership perceived shared responsibility by authors and editors for accuracy of published manuscripts. There was strong concern for seeking qualified reviewers, guaranteeing quality of reviews, admonishing poor reviewers, and instituting training in the Tri-Societies for writing/reviewing/editing. Greater openmindedness was supported for publishing “negative” or unusual results where methodology and analysis were acceptable. Concern was expressed about influence networks undermining the fairness of the review process. Significant support exists for a rapid-publication journal in the Tri-Societies. Two-and-one-half times more authors indicated movement away from Tri-Society journals than to them, with 44% indicating no change. The major reasons for journal migration were gravitation to journals that better reflected some recent shift in research focus, and various aspects of dissatisfaction with Tri-Society journals. Institutional responses indicated a strong rationale for developing and endorsing codes of ethics and limiting Tri-Society responsibility for ethical infractions.

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Copyright © 1992. Copyright © 1992 Soil Science Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, and American Society of Agronomy, 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA