The Kiel Institute in Germany has launched econo-mics, a journal with quite a different refereeing philosophy. Here’s how they describe it.

The publication process is simple:

  1. Authors upload their submissions (see submit article).
  2. The Associate Editors either accept the submissions for the economics discussion Paper Series, or reject (quick decision).
  3. Referees and Registered Readers read and comment the paper (at most 8 weeks). 
  4. The Associate Editors accept or reject the papers for publication as articles in economics. 
  5. Registered Readers continue to read and comment the published articles. Furthermore they are asked to rate the articles in economics on a scale of one to five. 
  6. The numbers of ratings, downloads and citations determine whether the articles enter the one-star (*), two-star (**) or three-star (***) series of econo-mics. Prizes for the most outstanding papers in special fields are awarded.

I’m not sure whether enomics will ultimately get enough submissions to be useful. For junior faculty, promotion decisions are typically based upon lagged journal rankings – so new e-journals such as the BE Press series and econo-mics carry little weight. I expect my senior colleagues would advice me not to submit to either. But for a profession where 2-year turnarounds from first submission to publication are not uncommon, the econo-mics philosphy is certainly refreshing.

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5 Responses to econo-mics

  1. Paul Frijters says:

    Interesting initiative Andrew. I wonder how they’ll deal with the glut of junk papers that will come at them innitially: there are so many papers out there looking for a home that got rejected by all the top journals that any new easy-submit journal has to fear being swamped.
    Apart from that, the system looks very traditional: refereeing is still blind (i.e. the referees do not put their names on something they accept), and its still editors making the final decisions of import. ‘Nichts neues am Westen’. I dont predict them a great future with such a stale old formula. So yes, you’re quite right. I wouldnt advise you to send something there.

  2. Andrew Leigh says:

    Paul, I’m amused that you were the first to comment on this, since the first thing I thought when the email landed in my inbox was “hmmm – I should forward this to Paul”.

    True, refereeing is blind, but I thought the facility to upload comments (with commenters’ names) was an interesting one.

  3. Paul, I would agree with Andrew on the latter point. As a journalist who is regularly scanning new research I would value very much an oportunity to see comments on new papers. I centrainly wish this journal a bright future.

  4. Paul Frijters says:

    Andrew and NOrbert,
    have a look at the board of associate Editors, i.e. the guys and girls who will actually be doing the work of sifting through papers. Its a massive list with people of very diverse talents and interest. It reads almost like a UN committee. Apply your knowledge of how well a diverse community provides a public goods to that! The journal Games and Economic Behaviour showed how it needs to be done: they came up in a short space of time because they had a committed high-quality group of tight-knit like-minded associate editors who invested high-quality time into sifting through the submitted papers. This new initiative looks full of good intentions but I just so happen to believe Andrew’s findings on diversity….

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