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An editor of a journal asked me to review a paper but did not provide his/her name or institution, signing the e-mail as, essentially, "Editor of ...". The e-mail seems to be based upon a template. The sender's e-mail address is of the form [email protected]

The journal is reputable but not a top one. I cannot determine the editor's name from public online sources or private contacts. My best guess is that the name of the author of the e-mail is very likely to belong to the list of the editors advertised on the web page of the journal. I know nobody from this list personally through I've read and cited some of their papers.

  1. How should the editor's decision to stay anonymous be qualified? For example, was it

    • (un)ethical,
    • (un)professional,
    • (contrary to the) commonly accepted practice?
  2. What does this tell us about the editor or the journal?

  3. I would like to know whom I am speaking to before taking any decision. What would be the most appropriate reaction from my side, if any?


In another circumstance, the editor of a different, top-notch journal to which I submitted is unknown to me. I corresponded only with the chief editor, and I know that the manuscript is under review, but that's it.

  1. Is it

    • (un)profesional
    • (contrary to the) commonly accepted practice

    for the chief editor not to reveal to an author which editor was assigned to the author's submission?

  2. I would be happy to know who is the actual editor of my submission. Is it possible (and how) to ask for that such that the question is likely to be answered?

1 Answer 1

How should the editor's decision to stay anonymous be qualified? For example, was it

(un)ethical,

(un)professional,

(contrary to the) commonly accepted practice?

What does this tell us about the editor or the journal?

Or Option D: Likely the result of using editorial management software, with no particular agenda behind it.

There are many reasons why the template can be generic. For example, a purely practical one is that one editor might be handling your submission, but then hand it off to another editor if they think they've got more appropriate expertise, if they need to take leave, etc.

One's interaction with an editor isn't particularly a personal one. They are acting in their capacity as the editorial office of X Journal. And when it comes down to it, it's the Editor-in-Chief's decision that is the final one, regardless of who you worked with, so it's entirely reasonable for the journal to speak with their "voice".

So no, it's not particularly unprofessional, and it's definitely not unethical. For that matter, it's not even a departure from common practice - likely a good half of the journals I publish (field: Biomedicine) in don't necessarily disclose what editor is assigned to your paper.