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

Authors
Pekka Louhiala
Tampere University
Joona Räsänen
Aarhus School of Business
Abstract
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
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DOI 10.1111/theo.12310
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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.

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