Thursday, January 31, 2013

Reviewing Ethics

Where do you draw the line for conflict of interest? I just received a request to review a manuscript on which one of colleagues is an author. This is an obvious no, right? I would never dream of asking someone from the same university to review a paper. Was this just an oversight on the editors side or is this not a real conflict? I would just ask the editor except that it's one of these automated replies with no option for correspondence.

I've also encountered very new journals from unknown publishers that encourage their editors to be sole reviewers on manuscripts. I feel like there is some conflict of interest there as well since the editors are under pressure to fill an issue with articles.

Am I just being a prud? Does the blind review process make these things ok? The NSF has rather strict rules about this when it comes to proposal reviewing.