Personal statement on publishing and peer review

This page is for summarising my personal position on publishing and peer-review. I am making my principles public in order to avoid causing any offence if, for example, I find myself in a position where I have to reject somebody’s kind invitation to publish in an edited volume, or a request to review a paper or to examine a dissertation. I hope that by being transparent it will be easier to do all of these things in a smarter way.

My policy on edited volumes and conference proceedings

I cannot commit to publishing in edited volumes, including conference proceedings. This is simply because the publication cycle for these works always exceeds the average length of a postdoctoral contract, sometimes by a factor of many. What this means is that I never really know if I’ll be available to put in the time and effort on a chapter when the editor requests it. Please don’t hesitate to invite me anyway since I may be in a position to agree, but don’t be offended if I reject your invitation or ignore a call-for-papers.

My policy on choosing journals to submit to

I choose to publish in journals where I expect to get the most relevant feedback from editors and reviewers. Accordingly I do not always submit to OA journals, but I will always make a pre-print available online, and I will send a full published version to anyone who makes the request via email.

My policy on reviewing papers

I am always happy to review papers in the field of Philippine studies, Australian studies, linguistic anthropology and writing system research. I am unlikely to agree to review papers on grammar or applied linguistics, even if they intersect with languages that are familiar to me.

Otherwise, there are only a few circumstances in which I will decline to review a paper: if it is beyond my expertise, if I have already reviewed an unusually high number within the year, if I have already reviewed several papers by the same author, if the journal is owned by Elsevier, if the author/editor does not provide access to the data that the paper relies on.

I stand by my review comments so I’m happy to be identified by name to the author at the editors’ discretion.

My policy on being reviewed

I will never waste anyone’s time by submitting a paper that I believe to be sub-standard. So if it turns out that my paper that you’re editing or reviewing is objectively terrible, that’s because I’m a terrible scholar, not a terrible person. Please assume good faith and take licence to be as critical as possible.

I will address all peer revisions, or give full explanations as to why I haven’t in a given instance. I am happy to make further necessary editorial changes after peer revisions are already incorporated into a draft, but on ethical grounds I will not modify core content or analysis because these requested changes will not have been assessed by reviewers.

My position on peer-review models

Peer review is by no means perfect, but I believe the best model available is the group-consolidated method promoted by eLife that addresses two of the biggest drawbacks of classical models: pace of review and quality control. You can read about the eLife review process here. I also in favour of post-publication peer review.