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In no. 50 of Antropologicheskij forum / Forum for Anthropology and Culture, published by the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the European University, St Petersburg, and the European Humanities Research Centre, University of Oxford, our ‘Forum’ (written round-table) will address the relations between academic authors, peer reviewers, and editors. We would like to invite you to respond to the questionnaire below.

You may, as you wish, directly address the questions presented here, or send in a text responding to one or some of them (or taking up some other issue that seems to you relevant). Whichever way, we would be grateful if you could keep your answers to a maximum of 5 pp. (1.5 spaced, 12-point type). Please use the author-date in-text citation system for any references in the format [Smith 2002: 12], i.e. author/date (no comma) in square brackets, appending a list of ‘References’ at the end with full publication details: Author: e.g. Smith M. A.; Article title: e.g. ‘Visual Anthropology’; Journal title: e.g. Ethnology. 2002. No. 3. Pp. 14–19; or alternatively, Author: e.g. Smith M. A.; Book title: e.g. Visual Anthropology. Place: Publisher, date, pages: e.g. London: Anvil Press, 2002. 356 pp. Please send replies by 21 June 2021 to forum.for.anthropology(), with a copy to catriona.kelly(); your email address should be included in any attached file. We hope that the discussion will appear in September 2021.


Forum 50: Authors, Peer Reviewers, Editors

It is seventeen years since the first issues of Forum for Anthropology and Culture, and its parent journal, Antropologicheskii forum, appeared. That makes nearly two decades of work on putting the journal together, from the selection of articles and editorial work on these, to the editing, design, and formatting of issues overall. To date, we have published 49 issues in Russian, 16 in English, and also 9 online-only numbers (AF Online between 2009 and 2013). This issue therefore marks a double jubilee: either the 50th Russian issue, or the 75th overall, depending how you count.

We have decided to mark this exceptional event in the journal’s history by organising a ‘Forum’ on an exceptional subject: the relations between two different camps in the academic world: authors and editors. Sometimes these relations are harmonious and friendly, at other times less so; at other times again, they can be plain tense, or even openly hostile. The situation is further complicated by the activities of peer reviewers (a relatively novel phenomenon in the Russian-speaking world, more familiar in the USA and UK, and in parts of Western Europe). Every professional academic will know the feelings (let’s politely call them mixed) with which one responds to editorial suggestions (let alone ones in peer reviews – the infamous Reviewer 2 in particular has become an entire figure in Internet folklore). Everyone with experience of working on the editorial side of the divide will be familiar with the equally mixed feelings that confront them when they are working on a submission to the journal, or processing the sometimes irritable or even discourteous responses by authors to their suggestions.

All of us on AF’s editorial board have extensive experience of life in both camps. All of us have published in peer review journals, with academic publishers, and so on, and we also deal regularly with submissions to AF (and to other journals and publishers also). For this reason, members of the editorial board will be participating more directly in this ‘Forum’ than is usually the case. However, our answers will appear under pseudonyms, rather than our own names. Other participants (editors, members of editorial boards, and/or academic authors) will be at liberty to follow this practice if they wish, but they may of course use their real names if they prefer. Readers will be invited to guess whether the answers come from members of AF’s editorial board, or outsiders.

1. Please share your experience of working with editors/editorial boards/authors. What are the most striking/comical/blood-boiling/hair-raising/woeful, or just typical or significant, cases that you have encountered?

2. How would you describe the ideal editor (or on the other hand, ideal author), and the ideal peer reviewer? Have any real-life figures actually lived up to this ideal?

3. And now we come to the anti-heroes: please describe any especially dreadful, crazy, half-witted, incompetent, infuriating, time-wasting, ignorant, or stupid editors/peer reviewers/authors you have had to deal with (composite portraits or prototypes are welcome, as well as accounts of real-life cases).

 4. What is your view overall of the relations between those inhabiting these three roles? Is ‘peaceful coexistence’ possible, and if so, in what circumstances?

Many thanks!


Editorial Office of the journal 'Forum for Anthropology and Culture':

Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences

3 Universitetskaya Emb., 199034, St Petersburg, Russia

European University at St Petersburg

6/1А Gagarinskaya Str., 191187, St Petersburg, Russia

Phone: +7 (812) 386-76-36

Fax: +7 (812) 386-76-39

E-mail: forum.for.anthropology()

Forum for Anthropology and Culture:

ISSN 1815-8927

Antropologicheskij forum:

ISSN 1815-8870

Mass Media Registration certificate PI No. FS77-35818, issued by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media