Monday, December 31, 2012

Bad grading idea

Via Tyler Cowen:
 I will submit your papers (blind) to external referees as well as myself for assessment, an A grade will be limited to those papers, and only those papers, that are recommended for acceptance or conditional acceptance, a B grade will be assigned to those papers that receive a recommendation of revise and resubmit, and a C grade will be assigned to those papers that are rejected by the external referees and myself.
I would be quite annoyed to discover that I was putting in the hours to evalaute a paper only to discover that I was doing a professor's job of grading said paper.  Furthermore, it seems that the editor is also the professor for the course.  I would be reluctant to evaluate a student or peer at tmy institution.  The less distance, the more I would be reluctant to do so.  The professor in queestion is willing to blind the papers for the external reviewers, who can not possibly be as potentially biased as a professor with their own students. 

I am also wondering about the standards of a journal in which revise and resubmit is a B grade.  There cannot be many A's.  I have (once) had a paper accepted without revisions but it was definitely not the first time it was ever sent to a journal.  The idea that a paper done in a single semester course (in parallel with other classes) would be a paper so high quality that it was accepted without revisions less than 4 months of work would be incredible in Epidemiology. 


  1. But the important part is that this is a journal of Austrian economics -- I think it says more about the quality of the journal and their volume of submissions that one of the editors thought this was a good idea!

  2. Brett -- that is a good point about the journal in question. As I said, in my field the syllabus could be translated as 0% will get A's and depending on the journal, if your work is the same caliber as active professors then about 5 to 20% of you will pass.