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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2007 August; 61(8): 722.
PMCID: PMC2653003

Publishing has become a “Russian roulette”

As authors, every now and then we get rather prejudiced, biased or scientifically unfounded—if not fully unethical, because of conflicts of interest—comments from manuscript reviewers. Some journal editors seldom seem to feel accountable for the choice of reviewers.

Today, I seek advice from a colleague and friend, a widely recognised scientist at a top‐ranking college in London, UK, about suitable journals to which we could resubmit a given paper. Other than the specific advice, his main reflection is:

Publishing has become a “Russian roulette”.

Hopefully, not so in JECH and in most other journals. But the debate is worthwhile.1,2


1. Porta M. The bibliographic ‘impact factor' of the Institute for Scientific Information, Inc. : how relevant is it really for public health journals, J Epidemiol Community Health 1996. 50606–610.610 [PMC free article] [PubMed]
2. Porta M, Fernandez E, Bolúmar F. The ‘bibliographic impact factor' and the still uncharted sociology of epidemiology. Int J Epidemiol 2006. 351130–1135.1135 [PubMed]

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