torsdag 8 november 2012

Clarification by Dover

Here is the reaction from Dover upon my request to see the review of The Secret of Flight.

Dear Claes,

In response to your recent messages, a few comments:

In Dover's 70-year history, the company has published perhaps 20 or 25 books on aerodynamics.  This is a minor yet important category for us and we have no contacts in the aerospace industry. As far as we know, no one in that industry is aware of the projects we are considering, including yours, nor are they pressuring us in any way concerning them.  How anyone would try to do that is, frankly, beyond our comprehension.

I've discussed your request for our review with my department head and regret that we must decline.  All of the reviews we obtain concerning projects under consideration are requested by us under a strict belief that anonymity must be preserved, not only the identities of the reviewers, but the content of what they say. We are not engaged here in scientific debate or discussion, we are making publishing decisions. We ask qualified people to tell us what they think secure in the knowledge that they will not later find their comments posted on the Internet without their permission.  This system works well for us-- your first Dover book was reviewed the same way--and we are unwilling to make any exceptions to it.

While we must decline to go ahead, I wish you every success in finding a publisher for your manuscript.

Best regards,

Rochelle Kronzek
Engineering, Science and Mathematics Editor
Dover Publications, Inc. 

OK, so Dover is not engaged in "scientific debate or discussion", only publishes, or not publishes, scientific books based on "publishing decisions". This gives material to the current discussion concerning the role and functioning of publishing companies as a service to science. The system with secret reviews "works well for Dover" but is against the basic principle of science of open discussion.  

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