Chris Pincock at “Honest Toil” has a different take on the Synthese disclaimer issue. Pincock makes the argument that since the Editors-in-Chief have responsibility for the reputation of the journal, of course they would have to put a disclaimer on a special issue if they saw a problem. There’s nothing to do because the Editors-in-Chief have a compelling motivation for the action they took.
My response in the comments there was this:
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As an author in the special issue in contention, I am less sanguine than you about the events. You see, the broad-brush vagueness of the Editors-in-Chief statement casts aspersions upon my academic integrity. Do the Editors-in-Chief have the right, in your estimation, to tar my reputation without notice or recourse? If I had been informed ahead of time of the intention to run that disclaimer with my paper, I would have retracted it on the spot. I was given *no* prior notice that any such criticism would be part of publishing in the special issue. I was given *no* opportunity to either revise or retract to escape the criticism leveled at the papers of the special issue. Is that also just their unquestioned right as Editors-in-Chief?
In my estimation, it is not simply business as usual for an academic publication to treat its authors as the Synthese Editors-in-Chief have done in this case. I don’t know that a boycott is absolutely the right response, but I disagree with the idea that no response is justified.
Wesley R. Elsberry