A completely pointless mini-rant on journal guidelines
June 15, 2012
I am finalising an article for submission to Palaeontologia Electronica. Regarding the acknowledgements, the Contributor Instructions say: “Initials are used rather than given names.”
WHY?! What on earth is gained by forcing authors to thank R. Cifelli instead of Rich Cifelli for access to specimens?
And of course this is the tiniest tip of the pointless-reformatting iceberg. Do not get me started on citations and reference, tables, figure captions, headings and all the rest.
The utter, utter pointlessness of such rules is irking me more with each submission I make. It’s indicative of the long-entrenched power-balance that we’ve all internalised, where authors are supplicants to journals, of whom we crave the boon of publication.
This. Is. Stupid.
We take highly trained scientists and put them to work doing tedious, time-consuming, error-prone clerical work which has the net result of reducing the utility of the paper.
Bring on the revolution.