Editor's Comments

Dear Dr. Lehar:

I now have two reviews, and had begun to read over your article, when I realize that we here at Cognitive Psychology have made a serious error: I hadn't realized that Gordon Logan had actually sent me two manuscripts, viz., Parts I and II of a two-part treatise. (This shows the effect of set and expectation on perception: In 25 years of being a journal editor, I've never received a two-part manuscript to handle, and was further thrown off Dr. Logan's cover letter which referred only to Part 1).

In any event, when I sent the manuscripts to the reviewers in this state of ignorance, I carried out the normal practice of sending the first copy on my pile to the first reviewer, and the second in My pile to the second reviewer. This, of course, means that the two reviewers got separate manuscripts to review.

Be that as it may, I am appending the reviews to the end of this letter. As you'll see, neither review is particularly positive. Reviewer B received Part II, and part of Reviewer B's unhappiness revolves (quite justifiably) around the incompleteness of what he got to review, but then he goes on to some substantive issues. Reviewer A who got Part I is concerned with problems that, I believe, are relatively independent of the incompleteness issue. My own main impression following my reading of Part I is, very briefly, that the manuscript is too technical for Cognitive Psychology, and belongs in a more specialized journal.

At this point, I'm not sure what the fair thing to do is - an uncertainty on my part that is exacerbated by the fact that it's taken more than five months at this point to get back to you, and that this delay is largely due to Reviewer B's confusion about what he was supposed to be reviewing. I believe there is no very good solution to this dilemma, and have decided that the best I can do is to offer you the following three options.

First, you may decide, upon reading the appended reviews (and the general feeling that I expressed above), that you'd like to send the paper elsewhere.

The second option is for you to stick with this Cognitive Psychology submission. If you choose this option, I'll send the complete, two-part manuscript out for review (to the same reviewers if they'd be willing to do so, or to other reviewers if they're not).

Third, if you'd like to take this opportunity to make any revisions to the manuscripts and resubmit them, I'll send it out for review again. If you decide to avail yourself of this option, I'd strongly recommend that you figure out a way condense the two manuscripts into a single manuscript (it's hard enough trying to convince reviewers to review a single manuscript; it's even harder trying to convince them to review two simultaneously). If you do decide to condense the manuscripts, please send the revised package to Dr. Logan and indicate that the revision should be sent to me (Note that Dr. Logan is receiving a cc of this email).

Whatever you decide to do, please let me express my profound apologies for this snafu. Despite the unusualness of your submission, I should have caught it and sent out both parts of the manuscript. I hope that this serious, but unusual error won't turn you off on Cognitive Psychology forever.


Geoffrey R. Loftus Associate Editor

Reviewer A

Reviewer B