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Title:Tracing Social Science: The Manuscript Review Process
Author(s):Bakanic, Eunice Yvonne
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, General
Abstract:Manuscripts and reviews submitted to the American Sociological Review between 1977 and 1982 and professional-biographical characteristics of authors, editors and reviewers were examined to identify and describe factors influencing the decision to publish or reject manuscripts. Following a review of the relevant literature in the sociology, history and philosophy of science, five research questions were formulated to frame the examination and description.
First, what is the extent of consensus among reviewers to accept or reject manuscripts? Second, what criteria do reviewers cite to justify their recommendations for the disposition of manuscripts? Third, what is the relationship between reviewers' recommendations and their justifications? Fourth, do reviewers' recommendations and justifications vary by the sub-disciplinary area in which the manuscripts are concerned, and by the methods of data collection and analysis employed in the manuscripts? Finally, what is the association between manuscript characteristics, author - reviewer - editor biographical characteristics, reviewers' recommendations, and, the editor's final disposition of the manuscript?
Complete agreement among reviewers is rare. However, when reviewers do agree it is most likely to reject the manuscript. The criteria reviewers cite to justify disposition recommendations are most often negative rather than positive comments. Criticisms of the method of analysis and theory are the most frequently specific criticisms. Reviewers were equally critical of manuscripts that were rejected and those that were eventually published. However, eventually published manuscripts received more positive comments from reviewers than did their rejected counterparts. There were no systematic differences between sub-disciplinary areas, but the criteria cited by reviewers and their disposition recommendations did differ according to the method of data collection and analysis. A two stage path model predicts approximately 71% of the variance for the final editorial disposition of the manuscript. This model indicates that the editor's decision is heavily influenced by the recommendations of the reviewers. Characteristics of the manuscript and editorial process variables were better predictors of reviewers' recommendation and editor's final disposition than were the professional biographical characteristics of reviewers or authors.
Issue Date:1986
Description:347 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8623259
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1986

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