Communication Research Reports.

(Eastern Communication Association)

First round of reviews.

Turnaround rate 103 days (SD = 37)
Review length 254 words (SD = 143)
Review quality 2.8 / 5 (SD = 0.8)
Overall quality 2.6 / 5 (SD = 0.5)
Would submit again 2.2 / 5 (SD = 0.7)
Journal recommendation 2.2 / 5 (SD = 0.7)
(based on 5 reports including 9 reviews)

Desk rejects.

Turnaround rate n/a
Plausibility n/a

Reviewers & Editors (Initial Submissions)
Length 254 words (SD = 143)
Overall tone Neutral (modal)
Knowledge 2.9 / 5 (SD = 0.9)
Helpfulness 2.9 / 5 (SD = 1.1)
Fairness 3.2 / 5 (SD = 1)
Overall quality 2.8 / 5 (SD = 0.8)
Length 99 words (SD = 28)
Decision Reject (modal)
Plausibility 3.5 / 5 (SD = 1.5)
Helpfulness 2.3 / 5 (SD = 1.3)
Fairness 3 / 5 (SD = 1.8)
Overall quality 2.3 / 5 (SD = 0.8)
  ·  Overall quality rating: 3 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 3 / 5
Speedy feedback! Helpful comments from reviewers. Clear, crisp communication from the new editor. I did have one concern, though. One piece of feedback from the editor said something like, "I wish you had also studied some positive effects of media exposure." For context, our study was about some negative effects of exposure to negative media content/context.

For the editor to throw that comment into his letter concerned me. First, neither reviewer said, "explore more positive effects." Also, we are limited in page number to start with at CRR - the paper's pretty full as-is. Third, the theory we were working with almost exclusively predicts negative effects. And the topic area was something with negative implications. Yes, there ARE positive effects of media use, but this paper wasn't really the place for them - that's a different study altogether.

I guess I mention this because it makes me worry about editor bias. Does he only want studies focusing on positive effects? Can we not do a study that only explores negative media effects?

  ·  Overall quality rating: 2 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 2 / 5
Although the decision did not take a lot of time, I was (negatively) surprised (and my co-authors as well) by the quality of the reviews.
I have never gotten so weird reviews - especially review 1 did not have much to do with the manuscript.
The editor (in his one-sentence explanation for the decision) mainly supported this review but even this is hard to tell since it was only one sentence.
Both reviewers explicitly said "revise & resubmit" but the editor rejected it anyway.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 3 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 3 / 5  (still under review)
The time between submission and the returned reviews was quite long (5 months), but this was due to a change in editorship. The new editor always responded very quickly and politely to our inquiries and explained why the review process took longer than usual in our case. The reviews we received were very brief, but still provided some useful suggestions on how to improve our manuscript.

  ·  Overall quality rating: 3 / 5  ·  Recommendation: 1 / 5
The content of the reviews seemed fair and even-handed, if debatable, except that one reviewer's insistence on more theoretical orientation seemed perhaps heavy given the data-report focus of the journal. Our main criticism of the experience would be the tone of some of the wording used by a reviewer who mentioned "the rant I could have launched" and who advised us to "put [our] egos away." To us, this seemed less than professional for a review of a brief data-driven report that was pretty devoid of contentious claims whether the study was strong or not.

Given that this journal seems mostly to be an outlet for useful data-driven reports that may not conclusively build theoretical understanding, authors might do well to be aware that reviewers may still expect theory-building findings more appropriate for a less report-oriented journal, and based on our experience authors should accept the possibility of a reviewer venting some vitriol along with the review content with no filtering by a fairly "hands-off" editor who added little to the process.

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