12, 000 Words?

There is much wrong with anonymous peer review. As Brian Rathburn points out, anonymous reviewers need not be “bitchy,” to use his term. They also need not take as long as they do, to add my own complaint. I understand folks are busy–but if you’re too busy to turn something around quickly, don’t take it on.

Peer reviewing is *not* writing or re-writing an essay.

That said, this strikes me about Rathburn’s article:

To say anything remotely interesting in 12,000 words is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE.

My discipline is founded on condensation and synthesis: we abstract to compare. We teach summary and paraphrase. I say this to note my training and my preferences. I also say it because, perhaps as a result of my training and the age I live in, I have no patience for long-windedness. Most articles and books I read can be cut in half without any loss.

One can say many interesting things in 6,000 words. Scientists frequently do it in under 3,000.