Theoria 87 (3):713-728 (2021)

Pekka Louhiala
Tampere University
Joona Räsänen
Aarhus School of Business
It is a common practice for authors of an academic work to thank the anonymous reviewers at the journal that is publishing it. Allegedly, scholars thank the reviewers because their comments improved the paper and thanking them is a proper way to show gratitude to them. Yet often, a paper that is eventually accepted by one journal is first rejected by other journals, and even though those journals’ reviewers also supply comments that improve the quality of the work, those reviewers are not customarily thanked. We contacted prominent scholars in bioethics and philosophy of medicine and asked whether thanking such reviewers would be a welcome trend. Having received responses from 107 scholars, we discuss the suggested proposal in light of both philosophical argument and the results of this survey. We argue that when an author’s work is published, the author should thank the reviewers whose comments improved the paper regardless of whether those reviewers’ journals rejected or accepted the work. That is because scholars should show gratitude to those who deserve it, and those whose comments improved the paper deserve gratitude. We also consider objections against this practice raised by scholars and show why they are not entirely persuasive.
Keywords academic ethics  acknowledgements  bioethics  gratitude  publishing  research ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/theo.12310
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The All or Nothing Problem.Joe Horton - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (2):94-104.
III—Gratefulness and Gratitude.A. D. M. Walker - 1981 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 81 (1):39-56.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Ethical Issues in Journal Peer-Review.J. Angelo Corlett - 2005 - Journal of Academic Ethics 2 (4):355-366.
Ethics of Field Research: Do Journals Set the Standard?Helene Marsh & Carole M. Eros - 1999 - Science and Engineering Ethics 5 (3):375-382.
Evidence for the Effectiveness of Peer Review.Robert H. Fletcher & Suzanne W. Fletcher - 1997 - Science and Engineering Ethics 3 (1):35-50.
Empirical Research in Bioethical Journals. A Quantitative Analysis.P. Borry - 2006 - Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (4):240-245.


Added to PP index

Total views
92 ( #128,437 of 2,519,863 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #22,782 of 2,519,863 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes