Posted by Paul Abel at 18:39 on 2012 Aug 01
Dear Steve,I’ve had a number of papers published in the JBAA and I have to say I have found the process to be both fair and helpful. Two recent papers spring to mind: first the paper I wrote which discusses my experiences of using the Alvan Clark refractor at Flagstaff, Arizona. I think this would fall into your category of personal experience. I think this sort of thing can still be regarded as a paper since, although it involves a subjective experience, that experience depends on objective facts which appear in the paper(like telescope stats, observing details and so on). When I submitted the paper, I got some useful comments back and suggestions which did help tighten it up.More recently I co-authored a paper with Damian Peach about observing Uranus. This was more of a scientific paper. After submission there were some disagreement between the referees and ourselves but these were sorted out in a way which suited everyone and it seemed to me that the referee process was robust produced a result which allowed the paper to be published.Based on these experiences I cannot therefore agree with with your interpretation that the process is not fit for purpose. I also think that the quality of the papers in the JBAA is uniformly good, with a diverse mix appearing the same journal (other journals could do well to see to this!) I think the above suggestion is a good one, and that perhaps is a line of dialogue to explore. Certainly a council discussion of it is a good idea I think.Best wishes,-Paul.