Friday, January 27, 2012
Rejected by Science !!
This experience got me thinking about how the Science review process affects the kinds of archaeology papers published in the journal. If you pay attention to the journal, you will know that they tend to favor high-tech methods, archaeometry, fancy quantitative methods, and reports about "the earliest" this or that. While I can only recall one or two papers in Science that I thought were incompetent (a much better record than most archaeology journals, some of which are full of incompetent articles), their selection of archaeology papers is definitely biased in a certain direction. I think one way of expressing this might be that Science publishes archaeology articles that will appeal on methodological grounds to non-archaeological scientists. My guess is that papers that are more synthetic or less methods-heavy don't make it through the initial review (which is done by non-archaeological scientists).
So, what's a scientific archaeologist (definition #1, whether or not using methods from definition #2) to do? I guess try another journal. For the sake of the discipline, one can only hope that these powerful editors at Science are not too often fooled by science #2 that does not conform to science #1.