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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. 63-74
    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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The Manuscript Peer Review-Editorial Process in American Society of Agronomy Journals

  1. G. H. Heichel
  1. Department of Agronomy, University of Illinois, Urbana Illinois


I analyzed the development of editorial leadership, editorial board structure, and manuscript review responsibility in Agronomy Journal. I investigated the evolution of benchmark editorial actions of the journal and associated them with the evolution of editorial board structure and with the tenure of editorial leaders. I also examined how time was used by editors and authors in various steps of the peer review-editor process in several Society journals, and suggested where improvements in the timeliness of manuscript processing might be made. Society editorial policies have roots that trace to the early officers and editors of the Society. Certain developments in policy, e.g., the division of labor between editors and editorial boards, or the establishment of minimum standards for peer review, trace to the tenure and institutional affiliations of specific persons. Peer review by scientists outside of the editorial committee or board started about 1926. There is no evidence that adoption of peer review reduced the proportion of manuscripts accepted for publication. The adoption of a policy establishing a minimum number of favorable reviews, and an increase in the minimum number of reviews, is associated with a decline in manuscript acceptance since 1961. In 1988 the seven steps in the peer review-editing process for four Society journals required an average of 216 d across journals. The return of an acceptable manuscript to the associate editor after peer review used the most (40%) time. Peer review consumed 19%. Eight to eleven percent of the review-editing time was used each time the associate editor corresponded with the author or forwarded the manuscript to the next higher review authority. There is a twofold range among journals in time used for specific review steps.

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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