[Comment on “Implementing the peer review process in AGU publications” and “JGR peer review suggestion”] publish rejections

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Abstract

The discussions of the review process by Baum [1984] and Dessler [1984] have been of considerable interest to me, as was the comment of Baker [1985]. These letters are particularly applicable to my situation because for more than 5 years, I have tried to publish (in two AGU journals and elsewhere) what has proven to be a controversial idea: Namely, in an island arc that I have studied as a private effort, the data appear to favor a tectonic model that is different from the conventional megathrust. I argue that the model of the megathrust, although shown in perhaps every textbook on tectonics, is largely conjectural. I propose an alternate model that is in agreement with the seismic data and that, moreover, appears to explain the evolution of the tectonic features of the arc that are observed; however, this model, viewed as a steadily operating process, can account for only a small fraction of the seafloor spreading that has been reported. (A reviewer has suggested that this imbalance might be explained by expansion of the earth.) Whereas very knowledgeable readers have expressed keen interest in the model, the majority of the reviewers have presented only negative remarks, and although several editors appear to think that my ideas should be distributed for evaluation, the negative remarks seem to have been enough to dissuade each of them from sponsoring the paper. Typically, the rejection has not been based on lack of scientific merit or on lack of clarity.

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