Monday, October 17, 2005
So my part-time job is managing an academic journal. When a decision is made by the editors, I compile the official notice and the anonymous reviews and send them on to the author. I've done a bunch of these, as we get a lot of submissions. Part of getting the reviews ready for the author is removing any information about what the reviewer recommended explicitly (though you can tell from the review almost always), as well as making sure the reviewer is anonymous. I do the same thing when a manuscript comes in, anonymizing it, finding hidden places that Word identifies them that many authors don't know about and removing them, etc. Well, today in my copy and pasting, I took a review that I had cleansed of everything that was to be cleansed and put it into the email to the author. Hit the send button. As soon as I did it, I noticed something. I still had a reviewer's last name sitting near the top. OK the reviewers name is not very name-like and could almost be a common English word, and maybe it is so buried in there the author won't notice it or won't have any idea who it is, but the conclusion is still clear. I suck. Makes me wonder if I am competent for this job. Did I say yet that I suck? I've already apologized to the Editor and there's nothing else to do now, other than make sure it doesn't happen again or get fired.