Personal statement on publishing and peer review

I decided to put together this page in order to set out my positions on publishing and peer-review. Sometimes these can be complex and fraught issues, so my goal is to make my personal case while recognising that other possibilities are valid. I’m certainly not advocating for these policies to be a adopted generally.

My policy on where I choose to publish

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 make a pre-print available online, and I will send a full published version to anyone who makes the request via email.

I can usually no longer 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. So I don’t know if I’ll be available to put in the time and effort on a chapter when the editor requests it. Please don’t be offended if I reject your call-for-papers. I really, sincerely don’t mean to be a jerk!

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 feel strongly about enriching these fields and making a fair contribution. 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, or if the journal is owned by Elsevier (since I’m in Germany).

I stand by my 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 unless it goes back out for review.

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.