Samples of Decision Letters and Reviewer Reports,
and Author Responses 2003-2013

A good research journal does more than publish good research. Its role in the advancement of knowledge goes beyond that of gatekeeper or arbiter of “quality” research because, equally as important, journals are crucial to higher education as a process. A lively journal forces its authors to dialogue with their peers. An international journal like this one connects authors with critical but committed colleagues around the world who volunteer to serve as Reviewers. The ultimate result, the published article, evolves partly through this collaboration with Reviewers and editors, as this compendium clearly illustrates.

To provide examples of reviews and of the CER editors’ responses, we selected about one-third of the articles published in recent years, choosing a variety of styles, methods, disciplinary orientations, and geographic areas. We are grateful to the authors we selected for allowing this open access to their files, especially since (without exception) all files contain critical suggestions and request further improvement. The authors’ willingness to participate speaks volumes about their security as scholars. The CER has been publishing less than 15 percent of submissions in recent years, and all the articles represented here have gone through multiple revisions, as part of the review process, before they were developed enough for acceptance.

Further details on the CER’s particular policies and procedures can be found in a February 2009 editorial. We hope that future reviewers and authors will be inspired by the contents of this compendium, which we think shows that the review process is more than an instrument for selection of articles, but is also a vital part of scholarship for its own sake. For samples of letters, reviews, and author responses, click here (2003-2008) and here (2009-2013).
 
- David Post, August 2009, updated August 2013