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  Should we notify authors after reviewing their papers?

+ 5 like - 0 dislike

Hello everyone. I have just landed here. Forgive me if this issue has been already addressed.

I think that the review section is a great idea. It may potentially fix some bad practices have been occurring in theoretical physics. 

I believe that authours should be notified of the reviews of their papers that have been written here. First, it is ethically better if authors are aware of these reviews because this way they can respond. And contacting them directly is more honest. Moreover, this will bring authors (experts) here faster.

This could be either enforced as a norm (perhaps eventually it could even done authomatically using the email address in the paper or in the abstract page in arXiv) or recommended to reviewers as a good practise. 

asked Mar 19, 2014 in Feature Request by drake (885 points) [ revision history ]
recategorized Mar 20, 2014 by dimension10

Hi drake, I pesonally think that notifying the authors of the paper is an excellent idea, thanks for bringing this up.

They'll find out within days anyway, they'll get themselves here in a hurry to rebut any criticism, but it doesn't hurt to notify. The issue is that the person you notify will be the person who comes, and I think the person who finds it first is the person most likely to be the most involved author. The idea was that whoever comes to answer the criticisms in a detailed way first is the person who the rep for the paper is given to, and if more than one come, they split the rep.

(also, the English expression regarding hands are to separate the arguments pro and con, which go on different hands. Your "on the one hand ... on the other hand..." things actually belong on the same hand, because they both support the position. Here's a contra position: "On the other hand, maybe notifying the authors will cause us to be considered a spam-generating site, as each little 'nice paper' comment will generate a spam email".)

One can notify every author. I would say that most papers contain the email address of all authors. I believe that if  some review pointes out an objective flaw in the reviewed paper (for example, a flaw in a calculation) or something embarrising such as (self-)plagiarism or lack of important references, a fraction of authors would try to play dumb to prevent the review from being known. This is something might happen until this site is known by the community of authors. Anyhow, the first reason still applies, so that I will let authors know when I review a paper.

This is a good idea, +1, our SEO may not even be enough at least at the begining for authors to find it themselves.  

2 Answers

+ 3 like - 0 dislike

I think the policy should be to inform an author, which will require the review having a field indicating whether or not an author has been emailed.

answered Mar 19, 2014 by physicsnewbie (-20 points) [ no revision ]
+ 2 like - 0 dislike

Authors (all) should generally be informed about the _first_ review only, not about every change on the review page.

answered Apr 17, 2014 by Arnold Neumaier (15,787 points) [ no revision ]

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