Advice to other journal editors

I get asked to review jour­nal papers almost every day, and I have to say no to almost all of them. I know it is hard to find review­ers, but many of these requests indi­cate very lazy edi­tors. So to all the edi­tors out there look­ing for review­ers, here is some advice.

  1. Never ask some­one who is an edi­tor for another jour­nal. I am han­dling about 500 sub­mis­sions per year for the Inter­na­tional Jour­nal of Fore­cast­ing, and about 10 per year for the Jour­nal of Sta­tis­ti­cal Soft­ware. There is very lit­tle time left to review for other jour­nals. You are much bet­ter off iden­ti­fy­ing some­one early in their career, within 10 years of fin­ish­ing their PhD. They have more time, fewer requests, and are often look­ing to build an aca­d­e­mic reputation.
  2. Look at the key papers cited in the sub­mis­sion, espe­cially the recent ones, and then check the web sites of their authors. Find some­one who is cur­rently work­ing in the area. For multi-​​authored papers, fig­ure out which author was the PhD stu­dent, who was the pro­fes­sor, etc. If there was a post-​​doc involved, ask him/​her.
  3. If that fails, do a Google Scholar search for an author who has writ­ten on the same topic recently. That is, in the last 2–3 years, not 10 years ago.
  4. If pos­si­ble, ask some­one who has recently authored a paper in your jour­nal. They owe you one.
  5. Ask some­one you know rather than a stranger. They are much more likely to say yes. If you don’t know many peo­ple you shouldn’t be an editor.

IJF best paper awards

Today at the Inter­na­tional Sym­po­sium on Fore­cast­ing, I announced the awards for the best paper pub­lished in the Inter­na­tional Jour­nal of Fore­cast­ing in the period 2012–2013.

We make an award every two years to the best paper(s) pub­lished in the jour­nal. There is always about 18 months delay after the pub­li­ca­tion period to allow time for reflec­tion, cita­tions, etc. The selected papers are selected by vote of the edi­to­r­ial board. The best paper wins an engraved bronze plaque and US$1000. Any other awards are in the form of cer­tifi­cates. Con­tinue reading →

What to cite?

This ques­tion comes from a com­ment on another post:

I’ve seen authors cit­ing as many ref­er­ences as pos­si­ble to try to please poten­tial ref­er­ees. Many of those ref­er­ences are low qual­ity papers though. Any gen­eral guid­ance about a typ­i­cal length for the ref­er­ence section?

It depends on the sub­ject and style of the paper. I’ve writ­ten a paper with over 900 cita­tions, but that was a review of time series fore­cast­ing over a 25 year period, and so it had to include a lot of references.

I’ve also writ­ten a paper with just four cita­tions. As it was a com­men­tary, it did not need a lot of con­tex­tual information.

Rather than pro­vide guid­ance on the length of the ref­er­ence sec­tion, I think it is bet­ter to fol­low some gen­eral prin­ci­ples of cita­tion in research. Con­tinue reading →

Nominations for best International Journal of Forecasting paper, 2012-2013

Every two years, the Inter­na­tional Jour­nal of Fore­cast­ing awards a prize for the best paper pub­lished in a two year period. It is now time to iden­tify the best paper pub­lished in the IJF dur­ing 2012 and 2013. There is always about 18 months delay after the pub­li­ca­tion period to allow time for reflec­tion, cita­tions, etc. The prize is US$1000 plus an engraved plaque. Con­tinue reading →