Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.

(Taylor & Francis)

First round of reviews.

Turnaround rate 147 days (SD = 88)
Review length 621 words (SD = 476)
Review quality 3.3 / 5 (SD = 1.3)
Overall quality 2.8 / 5 (SD = 1.5)
Would submit again 2.5 / 5 (SD = 1.8)
Journal recommendation 2.7 / 5 (SD = 1.5)
(based on 6 reports including 12 reviews)

Desk rejects.

Turnaround rate 12 days (SD = 0)
Plausibility 3 / 5 (SD = 2)
(based on 2 reports)

Reviewers & Editors (Initial Submissions)
Length 621 words (SD = 476)
Overall tone Positive (modal)
Knowledge 3.5 / 5 (SD = 1.3)
Helpfulness 3.5 / 5 (SD = 1.4)
Fairness 4.4 / 5 (SD = 0.8)
Overall quality 3.3 / 5 (SD = 1.3)
Length 126 words (SD = 60)
Decision Reject (modal)
Plausibility 2 / 5 (SD = 1.5)
Helpfulness 1.8 / 5 (SD = 1.6)
Fairness 2 / 5 (SD = 1.7)
Overall quality 1.8 / 5 (SD = 1.6)
Reviewers & Editors (Successive Rounds)
Turnaround rate 87 days (SD = 0)
(based on 1 report including 2 reviews)

Length 246 words (SD = 208)
Overall tone Positive (modal)
Knowledge 5 / 5 (SD = 0)
Helpfulness 4.5 / 5 (SD = 0.5)
Fairness 5 / 5 (SD = 0)
Consistency 5 / 5 (SD = 0)
Overall quality 5 / 5 (SD = 0)
Length 179 words (SD = 0)
Decision Minor Revision (modal)
Plausibility 5 / 5 (SD = 0)
Helpfulness 5 / 5 (SD = 0)
Fairness 5 / 5 (SD = 0)
Overall quality 5 / 5 (SD = 0)
  ·  Overall quality rating: 1 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 1 / 5
I have concerns about whether this journal assigns appropriate reviewers to papers, and I make this assessment after 3 different experiences. Of course, as the saying goes: fool me once, shame on me, fool me three times....let's just say I'm not going to submit to this journal again (not until it gets a new editor).

In all 3 submissions I received almost no feedback that was helpful. In one, I'm fairly sure a qualitative scholar was assigned to review my quantitative paper. He or she questioned whether 1-5 Likert scales were really appropriate to capture concepts like identification, transportation, etc. Note: quantitative scales are used ALL the time to measure these types of concepts - if I have to convince a reviewer about the merits of quantitative research *in addition to* the merits of my paper, I'll never get published.

The most recent paper was under review for about 8-9 months. After waiting that long, one reviewer wrote about 4 sentences of feedback. Another reviewer rambled on and on and on, but never said anything about (a) the topic area (b) our ideas, (c) our method, or (d) our findings. What DID this reviewer comment on? It's hard to say - lots of flowery comments about "conceptual coverage" of this and that theoretical approach.

Most alarming: our study has a very unique methodological approach that some (for example, ICA reviewers) see as flaws. NEITHER reviewer at JOBEM said one thing about it. Nothing. In contrast, reviewers at ICA were all over this methodological decision we made - asking question after question about our choices. But from the two reviewers from JOBEM: nada. They said absolutely nothing about it. They also said almost nothing about our methods at all - and I know the paper is not methodologically perfect.

This leads me to suspect these reviewers are either unfamiliar with quantitative research, or in general, have no idea how to evaluate an experiment. That they didn't catch or comment on our unique methodological approach suggests they weren't qualified to evaluate this paper. And given this is the third time this has happened to me, I'm going to have to stop submitting to his journal. Which is a shame, as JOBEM used to be my favorite journal in the field.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 4 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 2 / 5
I got a reject after the first round of reviews.

On the reviews: These were great. One review was very detailed, very helpful and suggesting a number of improvements (with one major point). The second review was helpful too. Both reviews were positive in tone. Both contained passages that they would (really) like to see the paper published (soon).

On the editor's decision: The editor rejected the paper. She stated that the reviewers don't see the paper as appropriate for JoBEM. Since the reviews were generally positive in tone, this evoked a slight feeling of dissonance in me and colleagues to whom I showed the communication.

I assume that (1) the editor had enough other submissions that were reviewed equally positive, but with fewer criticism raised. Or (2) the editor perceived a thematic mismatch. Unfortunately, the editor did not comment further on this.

Given the high quality of the reviews and the general attractiveness of the journal, it would have really help to make my experience more satisfying if the editor had given a short personal comment on the reject.

As a minimum, this could have been a short note along the lines "In regards to competing submission, I had to reject your submission based on the criticism raised in the reviews." Of course, a real explanation would be more helpful in considering JoBEM for future submissions.

  ·  Plausibility: 5 / 5  (desk reject)
The manuscript was a short submission of about "research note" length and was not formatted appropriately for this journal. I was a co-author but did not submit it and would not have recommended the submission had I known it was submitted. (I was not told in advance.) The editor made a good decision rejecting the submission as inappropriate and a good decision to not waste reviewers' time with a submission of inappropriate length and scope. A good administrative decision to respect reviewers' time and energy without overusing desk-reject discretion.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 5 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 5 / 5
The review process was thoughtful and thorough. Reviewers clearly took time to critique and improve the research while focusing on its strength of contribution in the main instead of simply looking for excuses to reject or making tangential criticisms. In my experience Dr. Papacharissi is doing a lot to improve the impact and quality of JOBEM after some decline.

One thing worth knowing, which is not a criticism, is that the editor appears likely to send revisions back to reviewers even when initial responses are highly favorable and concerns limited. This is not a bad thing and is a good way to avoid imposing her will on them, but it may slow the process compared to a journal where the editor makes a "desk" decision with most revisions after the first round of reviewer feedback. Again, I found no problem with this and thought the editorial oversight was excellent, but it's worth knowing that the review process seems likely to involve reviewers throughout and the necessary turnaround time involved.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 3 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 4 / 5
The reviews were both plausible, although one of the two was rather singular in focus, and was concerned solely with the extent to which the (relatively new) practice we were testing the effects of was being utilized in the field, with the reviewer seemingly viewing the research as less valuable because so far, only a few media outlets were engaging in the practice. I suppose s/he would prefer we wait to study the effects of something after its being universally adopted.

Most notable about this submission process was the editor's decision. One reviewer clearly recommended acceptance -- it was in the text of the review we received. The other reviewer seemed neutral at worst, and did not indicate a decision (this was the one hung up on how widespread the practice was).

The editor, however, said simply "I regret to inform you that our reviewers do not believe your essay is suitable for publication in Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, and I concur," in addition to a few more lines of standard rejection letter content. No additional reason for her decision, and one reviewer had clearly recommended publication. Bizarre, for one, and delivered without any reference to our content from the editor herself.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 3 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 1 / 5
The reviewers were both knowledgeable on the topic as was evidenced by their comments. The major concern of the first reviewer was that s/he wanted a more equitable representation of men and women, which was a valid point and easy to resolve by running more subjects. The other reviewer made more concrete recommendations for tuning up the paper and provided some helpful references for us to look into. Given the positive tone of the helpful reviewers and the complete manageability of the revisions, this appeared to be a straightforward R&R just based on the reviews.

The editor, however, decided she didn't like the topic and didn't think it fit the journal, which is not the case (a skim of our reference list would have clearly indicated relevant studies published in the journal.) I understand that ultimately, this is the editor's call--but it is unacceptable to turn down a paper based on a "lack of fit" AFTER submitting it to the review process. If it doesn't fit, then desk reject it and don't waste months of the authors' time (or the reviewers' time).

I would not bother submitting to this journal until the editorship changes.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 1 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 3 / 5
This was one of those instances where the editor probably should have desk rejected my manuscript when I submitted it, but instead kept it for 6 months only to realize that they didn't want to publish this type of work later.

My manuscript was a quantitative piece, and both reviewers expressed regret that I didn't do more qualitative work with the topic. One reviewer even hinted that they themselves did not know much about quantitative research. Still, although the reviewers weren't able to give very specific feedback they only recommended minor revisions. However, the letter from the editor said that in a private message, both reviewers said that they didn't find the study suitable for the journal. I was skeptical.

It's editors' job to make the though decisions about what direction to take a journal and what to publish and what not, so I can respect the rejection of a manuscript that isn't a good fit. But it's frustrating that this call took such a long time to make.

  ·  Plausibility: 1 / 5  (desk reject)
The manuscript was desk rejected in about 10 days. The editor said it should be sent to a more specialized journal--this was surprising. Manuscripts with similar topics (not exactly the same though) were published in JOBEM before her term.

Furthermore, i am curious, if a manuscript examines the use of electronic media in journalism, should it be sent to Journalism Studies? If it examined the use of social media in political uprisings, should it be sent to political communication? If it examines the use of video games for health comm, should it be sent to health comm only? Even Journal of Communication was OK with similarly specialized topics.

I believe all manuscripts deal with a topic. Evaluation of the manuscript should be based on whether the manuscript is (mostly) related to broadcasting and electronic media for a communication purpose. The editor's comment was surprising.

The editor raised another comment related to a very minor point before the "not fit" comment. Although I got the whole thing, it was confusing overall.

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