Stafford (2018) presents the problem of finding reviewers in terms of the “tragedy of the commons”. While recognizing the very real scale of the reviewer problem, I suggest in this paper that focusing on the metaphor of the commons overlooks key assumptions in this work and risks distracting us from more solvable aspects of the reviewer problem, such as increasing the supply of capable reviewers (i.e., the commons is not necessarily as fixed as is the case for fish stocks and grazing land) and more proactively screening submissions (to avoid overusing reviewer resources).
Whitley, E. (2018). Fish Stocks, Grazing Land, and Reviewers: Exploring the Usefulness of the Tragedy of the Commons for Understanding the Reviewer Resource Problem. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 42, pp-pp. https://doi.org/10.17705/1CAIS.04226
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