Journal of Communication.


First round of reviews.

Turnaround rate 59 days (SD = 13)
Review length 854 words (SD = 579)
Review quality 3.5 / 5 (SD = 1)
Overall quality 3.4 / 5 (SD = 1.2)
Would submit again 4 / 5 (SD = 0.9)
Journal recommendation 3.7 / 5 (SD = 1)
(based on 7 reports including 15 reviews)

Desk rejects.

Turnaround rate 2 days (SD = 0)
Plausibility 3 / 5 (SD = 0)
(based on 1 report)

Reviewers & Editors (Initial Submissions)
Length 854 words (SD = 579)
Overall tone Negative (modal)
Knowledge 3.7 / 5 (SD = 0.9)
Helpfulness 3.4 / 5 (SD = 1.4)
Fairness 3.3 / 5 (SD = 1.4)
Overall quality 3.5 / 5 (SD = 1)
Length 364 words (SD = 268)
Decision Reject (modal)
Plausibility 3.3 / 5 (SD = 1.3)
Helpfulness 3 / 5 (SD = 0.6)
Fairness 3.3 / 5 (SD = 1.3)
Overall quality 3.6 / 5 (SD = 0.7)
Reviewers & Editors (Successive Rounds)
Turnaround rate 44 days (SD = 0)
(based on 1 report including 1 review)

Length n/a
Overall tone Positive (modal)
Knowledge 4 / 5 (SD = 0)
Helpfulness 4 / 5 (SD = 0)
Fairness 4 / 5 (SD = 0)
Consistency 4 / 5 (SD = 0)
Overall quality 4 / 5 (SD = 0)
Length n/a
Decision Accept (modal)
Plausibility 3 / 5 (SD = 0)
Helpfulness 3 / 5 (SD = 0)
Fairness 3 / 5 (SD = 0)
Overall quality 3 / 5 (SD = 0)
  ·  Plausibility: 3 / 5  (desk reject)
There are worse things than a quick desk reject. The submitted paper is a tad "out there" in terms of the combination of variables and editor seemed dismissive of the idea that it would be of interest to other communication researchers. I disagree, but knew going in that a reject could end up being based in that sort of criticism. This paper had no problem getting past editor at another flagship.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 3 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 5 / 5
The reviews were detailed, although clearly biased in one case by sub-disciplinary allegiances. The editor's comments were perfunctory. The review process took two months in all.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 2 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 3 / 5
I ubmitted two manuscripts to JOC. Both got rejected in about 40-50 days. 6 reviewers total - I am 100% positive who these reviewers were (top scholars in the field) and I agree with the editor's choice of these reviewers, although no reviewers are 100% fit for reviewing an article or whose research is 100% in line with your submissions.

Among the 6 reviewers, I would say 1 provided some good comments, and 1 was OK.

One of the four reviewers simply had some doubt: this could be this way, that could be another way-- based on that, it was a reject by him. However, our post-review analysis showed none of the results were his ways.

The other three reviewers, although they provided a lot of comments, were either rambling about their own book chapters or about some issues either marginally related to the submissions (or take it too far). They sometimes felt comfortable making comments that are true.

Current editor's term ends this year, meaning he would stop accepting now submissions around September-ish. Again, I believe he's doing a good, but "very conservative" job and can recruit top scholars to review for the journal. But the issue is really either these top scholars do not have enough time, see things from their very "unique" perspectives or have their own agendas. Too bad, one of our two articles that were submitted was indeed a very good one.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 3 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 3 / 5
I'm actually basing my comments on two submissions, one of which I was the submitter, one of which I was the reviewer. For my own submission, I thought the review process went smoothly and fairly. For the one I was a reviewer for, I actually thought the process went a little bizarre. The reviews were split and the editor, in his cover letter, decided to reject the manuscript because the split reviews indicated it was controversial. The editor said his decision had more to do with that than with the quality of the manuscript (although the manuscript had flaws of course). I thought this decision, at least as worded, seemed strange and unfair to the authors.

So overall, this is an excellent journal and I think the editor strives to be fair in the review process. However, at times, I think he can get some strong opinions and make some "meta" decisions that have little to do with the quality of a manuscript (such as the rejection of a null study another reviewer noted) and may make some of the editorial decisions unreliable.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 5 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 4 / 5
While two of the three reviews were really detailed and helpful, the third review was very short and superficial.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 2 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 2 / 5
I was positively surprised to receive 3 reviews in a relative short turnaround time of about 2 months for my submission. The reviews differed quite a lot in their tone and suggestions for improvement of the manuscript. One review was rather negative and explicitly recommended a rejection of the submission - sadly, however, based on what seems to be a misunderstanding of one methodological procedure that in hindsight I probably should have described in greater detail. Aside from this, I was quite happy with the reviews I received.

However, I was shocked when I read the editor's comments. The sole (!) reason that the editor names for the decision to reject the manuscript is that most of our statistical tests turned out to yield non-significant results. The editor apologizes several times throughout the editorial letter and stresses repeatedly that although the study in itself was great, the data just weren't good enough to warrant publication in this journal. At one point the editor even says that he is very sorry to turn down a cleverly designed study that just did not yield the right data.

Against the background of the recent scandals in psychology and other social sciences, I was appalled by this rationale. If the design of a study is sound (and that's what the editor said), then the results are the results - there is no right or wrong.

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