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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2012

    http://www.ams.org/notices/201209/rtx120901272p.pdf Some interesting stuff there. Once again I am drawn to comment on the following point. Why do some people (who think that journals should be choosy about what they accept) think that authors have a right to substantial copyediting, if they can’t write properly? I am excepting people for whom English is not their native language. Sloppy notation and sloppy thinking are surely the main problems. Why should a journal not just reject in that case. There are enough good submissions to such journals, surely. His comments on costly signals are interesting, although depressing.

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2012
    • (edited Oct 15th 2012)

    editors rarely engage in a back-and-forth dialog with the author to further improve the writing

    Surely, one can not: most journals do not allow that practice. You should usually either write a report or nothing. If the report asks for revision and other referees are very positive about the paper, the editor often overwrites and publishes before the further exchange is done. Some editorials do not allow to have more than couple of revisions (for various reasons including to lower the statistics of the overall time to decision, even when the benefit is clear).

    think that authors have a right to substantial copyediting, if they can’t write properly

    The foreign authors like me have difficulty finding the appropriate phrase, but if the language experts make the change which clashes with the intended subtleties of technical meaning, in most cases we will recognize that the change has been inappropriate. You see, there are people who can sing and not play the piano, but when accompanied with a piano player who follows the tune inappropriately they can still correct the piano player.