Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
So you submit a paper to an academic journal. Is its acceptance purely a matter of chance? According to Time Vines this is the attitude that seems to be fostered by things like acceptance rates, but it's not random at all. "In reality," he writes, "if a paper is below the quality threshold for the journal, it’s almost certain to be rejected; and if it’s above that threshold, then it’s almost certain to be accepted." The article, in my view, seems to suggest that there is a linear scale of 'quality' of different journals. Hence, the author argues, "authors will try to pick journals where their paper falls into the transition part of the figure — too far to the left, and they will almost certainly be rejected; too far to the right, and their paper will be easily accepted." But in fact, what is described here as 'quality' is in reality a mapping to features of papers desired by journals, and this mapping varies from journal to journal, and authors experiencing the 'randomness' effect are those only partially conforming to this feature set.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 12:32 p.m.