A professor writes in:
We hear a lot of complaints about how the APA and about how journals are run from folks who don’t volunteer for the APA or serve (and have never served) in leadership positions at journals (e.g. as those responsible for finding referees and ensuring to the best of their limited abilities that referees are doing their jobs). Suggestions for improving APA and journal practices and services, when they accompany the complaints, are often demands that those that already volunteer their time at a sacrifice to their own research and careers volunteer even more of their time. As someone who has had leadership roles both in the APA and at a journal, I can attest that this is not possible, in addition to being unjust to demand.
(1) What can we do, generally, to improve the institutions that serve the profession?
(2) If good answers to (1) require more people volunteering their time, how do we get people to do that?
It would also be useful to discuss something I’ve long wanted to raise on Daily Nous, namely:
(3) To what extent is it appropriate for the profession, or academia more generally, to rely on people willingly taking on extra work without pay?
I’m sure there are other relevant questions worth asking. Feel free to raise them, and attempt to answer them, in the comments.
(For a related discussion on credit for refereeing articles, see this earlier post.)