Laurie Taylor Column

March 4, 2005

"Young academics are frustrated by attempts to publish in academic journals" - The Times Higher, February 25

Gordon. Is that you?

Charles! Good to hear your voice. How can I help?

Gordon, I've got my editor's hat on this morning. I was wondering if you'd had a moment to glance over those articles I asked you to peer review for British Cultural Praxis?

Articles?

I sent them early last September to avoid the rush. One had "hegemony" in the title, one was on reality television and the third began with a long quotation from Raymond Williams.

That strikes a chord, Charles. Do you have any names?

No names. Remember? We stopped using them in 2002. Level playing field.

Of course. Well, I'm checking the in-tray as we speak. Ah. Here we are. Slipped through the net. Sorry about that.

Now, anything we can do to hurry this along?

I must say, this one on hegemony looks straightforward. Yes, it must be old Colin Wilkes from Southampton. Cites himself three times in the abstract. No problem, Colin has a solid track record. Now, reality television. Mmm, is this a new fellow?

It's a she.

Yes, it does look thinnish. Put it down as a resubmit and I'll get some comments to you in the next fortnight. And that leaves Raymond Williams. I'm just checking the conclusion. Mmm. Is this chap also on the newish side?

Very first submission.

Stands out a mile. Quite frankly, Charles, one has to earn the right to criticise a giant such as Williams. I'd say straight reject. Can you concoct a kindly form of words?

Of course. So that's one accept, one resubmit and one reject. Thanks for that, Gordon. It's good to be able to rely on old friends.

No problem, Charles. That's what peer review is all about, eh?

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