Re: New AA Policies

Fri, 4 Nov 1994 17:31:03 CST

I find myself in the odd position of defending the Tedlocks as editors
of AA, or at least clarifying their policy on blind reviewing.

They have not totally done away with it. I recently reviewed a
manuscript for them, and this is what their cover letter said:
"Please note that the author was given the choice as to whether or
not to be anonymous at this stage, and that you have the same choice
as a reviewer." The referee form has a place to check "yes" or "no"
to the question "You may identify me as the source of the comments."

Having been the recipient of some downright nasty comments from
reviewers hiding behind their anonymity, I kind of like this change.
After all, authors can rarely really achieve anonymity unless they
come from out of nowhere and have never published anything before
on the topic of their manuscript. Usually any reviewer who is familiar
with the subject matter of a manuscript (i.e., any qualified reviewer)
would have an easy time figuring out who wrote a manuscript. This
creates an inequality between the author and the reviewers that
bothers me, although I admit that I myself have sometimes chosen to
remain anonymous to the author of a manuscript because I couldn't
find much that was good to say about it, and that I did this because
of my relatively junior status. So I haven't really made up my
mind. The Tedlocks' position of giving people some choice in the
matter doesn't seem like such a bad idea.


Lee Cronk
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-4352
Office: 409-847-9254
Fax: 409-845-4070