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Consequences of Wiley’s incompetence handling my research

Fervent devotees of this blog might recall the time when I got mildly frustrated with Wiley in how they handled one of the major research papers from my PhD (this beast).

The tl,dr is this:

  1. Wiley messed up the proofing stage repeatedly, adding several months of delays at this stage.
  2. Wiley incorrectly delayed the publication by three months due to their failure to understand their own publishing process, even after I had explained it to them.

Why had I waited more than 3 months, delaying the release and re-ue of my research for no reason, and my being able to take credit for it at a crucial time in my career (I submitted my thesis last week..). Well, I asked the Production Editor. They said that the difference was because I hadn’t provided an LSID in my paper. Which I had. And was pretty obviously right there where it should have been. Oops.

Well, some of the consequences of this incredible incompetence are now coming to light. An impressive new paper by some colleagues of mine from Germany, including who I might even collaborate with or be employed by in the future, is directly related to this delayed publication of mine, being based on this small group of extinction crocodile ancestors called atoposaurids. In our publication, we even provide commentary on the specimens analysed in the new paper, but this is completely ignored.*

Despite a nice couple of “Tennant, pers. comm.”s throughout, which are always nice, it is completely lacking in any reference to this important work of mine (it references other works of mine a lot, though), which should really be used as the foundation for any further research into this group as it is a huge overview and detailed analysis of them.

There’s a mention of “Tenannt et al., in review”, which presumably is a reference to the published work of mine. Except that my work isn’t in review, it’s been published for quite some time now. My paper was published finally on July 13th, 2016, despite having the corrected proofs ready on April 12th, 2016.

So a three month delay, during which the new research was under peer review, but my own research was neglected as a direct consequence of Wiley’s poor handling.

The newly published paper was received for publication on February 25th, 2016, and accepted on September 26th, 2016. So my paper was actually published finally right towards the end of this, which means that it makes sense for the authors not to include it, or not to have seen it. It would have also probably meant re-doing a lot of their research, which isn’t exactly appealing right towards the end of a project in peer review.

However, if my work was published in April, as it should have been, this could have been noted during the peer review process, or incorporated during the revisions of the research at the beginning. But it wasn’t, because Wiley failed to understand how their own journal publication process works. I’m quite furious about this (*sips tea angrily*).

I’m at the stage in my career where every single citation helps, every bit of re-use of my research, every little bit of ‘impact’ and recognition. We’re in too competitive an environment these days for it not to. Also, it means that the new research lacked the context and input that my own research would have undoubtedly provided, had it been published on time.

Wiley’s incompetence, and general nonchalance in handling my work, has cost me citations. It cost this research valuable input and discussion. It makes the authors look a bit bad, it makes me look quite bad (‘Oh, maybe they didn’t include his research because it’s low quality..’), and it certainly makes the publisher look bad too. All because of sloppy processing.

Just a reminder that to publish this paper, Wiley charged $3600. $3600 to offer zero value to my work, to slow down it’s publication, to compromise future research in doing so.

Why do we let some publishers get away with not doing the job that they are paid to do?

*Relevant text from our paper:

Another specimen (DFMMh 200, the anterior part of a crushed skeleton) from the Kimmeridgian of northern Germany was tentatively referred to T. pusillus by Karl et al. (2006), although it is probably of a different ontogenetic age to the type material. This specimen has a posterior maxillary dental arcade situated within a confluent dental groove, similar to the feature that we identify as synapomorphic for (Tpusillus + Tguimarotae) (see above). The teeth of DFMMh 200 are morphologically similar to T. pusillus (Karl et al., 2006), owing to the presence of faint carinae, a slightly labiolingually compressed and lanceolate morphology, an enlarged fourth maxillary tooth, and caniniform third and fourth dentary teeth. However, the external nares are almost completely divided by an anterior projection of the nasals, a feature that we consider to be diagnostic of Atoposauridae, to the exclusion of Theriosuchus. Despite this latter feature, we tentatively refer DFMMh 200 to Theriosuchus cf. pusillus, pending a more detailed description of this potentially important specimen.

Additional material referable to Theriosuchus sp. comes from the same region as DFMMh 200, including DFMMh 605 (a partial and damaged skull, probably of a hatchling); DFMMh 325 (four ventral osteoderms, two ribs, and a fragment of a dorsal vertebra; DFMMh 236 (numerous dorsal osteoderms); DFMMh 279 (single femur); and DFMMh 507 (a solitary tooth) (Karl et al., 2006). However, the dorsal osteoderms possess an anterior process, a feature that we do not consider to be present in Theriosuchus, and therefore at least some of the osteoderms comprising DFMMH 236 are more likely to belong to a goniopholidid. The femur and axial material cannot be definitively attributed to Theriosuchus based on our revised understanding of this genus, and we consider it to belong to an indeterminate mesoeucrocodylian. We tentatively consider the partial skull and the single tooth to be referable to cf. Theriosuchus sp., owing to the dental similarities they possess.

2 thoughts on “Consequences of Wiley’s incompetence handling my research

  1. Their Senior Production Editor said “My sincere apologies for the delay. I did not see the zoobank details on the proof.”

    Then published the article. That was it.

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