Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Good advice 

Tyler Cowen with seven rules for being a referee of an academic article. I just had a book proposal reviewed by someone; I believe the proposal has been accepted, but the reviewer's comments made it a better book, thought about how someone would read the book rather than me thinking about how to write it.

That is less rare than those outside academia might guess. I have often wondered why busy people agree to referee journal articles for free. I suppose it could be some reciprocal agreement structure, but I suspect we do it to learn more. A paper we understand that is published gives us something to work with in our own writing; most bad referee reports are from people refereeing a manuscript they are not prepared to read or don't have time to read, rather than someone being malicious.