Critics, show yourselves

June 2, 2011

Are others as concerned as I am about the anonymity of reporting on manuscript submissions to publishers and applications to funding bodies? Some of us may be somewhat protected by longevity, if occasionally exposed by notoriety. However, our graduate students, research assistants and younger colleagues can be left exposed, not least by association with such notoriety.

There appear to be some powerful mythologies circulating that academics are free of partisanship, untouched by conflicts of interest and personal grievance. There may be some noble souls who are faultless in these areas, but in my experience that is not universally the case.

If authors and applicants are to reveal their identities, respondents should be courageous enough to do so. The right of reply is one of the more honourable features of the academy and public life. In the best traditions of reviewing, critics celebrate their own identity; they do not seek or consent to suppress it.

Julia Swindells, Professor of English, Anglia Ruskin University

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy