Monday, February 18, 2013

Sacrificing Privacy in Order to Referee a Paper?

Maybe I am just in an ornery mood this morning, but I don't think I should have to sign an annoying web privacy policy when I am being asked to provide my services for free to a journal. Here is part of what I wrote to the editor who had the misfortunate to ask for my refereeing services (and to get my name wrong, for that matter):

"The JStat website forces one to actively agree to an insidious 'privacy' policy to use it. (This is the first page one gets when logging in.) Refereeing is something academics do as a service and I am content to do my duty just like everyone else, but I am not going to sign such a policy in order to do it. I have signed such things in other contexts, but that is when I am receiving the service --- not providing it. Accordingly, please do not ever ask me to referee a paper again. I suggest recommending to the journal that they change how they do things."

The interesting thing is that if I ever submit there, then I suppose I would be agreeing to it, but now I am going to think twice if I ever consider submitting there. (I'm not saying I won't do it, but I would think harder about it than I would have otherwise.)

(And, while you're at it, get off my damn lawn!)

By the way, the offending journal is Journal of Statistical Mechanics. Maybe it's just how they presented this that really irked me? The other journals probably all have something like this as well.

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