From the OUP Editor

I promised you some feedback early in the week, and here it is! First, I really enjoyed reading your manuscript…

Couple of picky points.  In a few cases, in trying to be conversational with the reader, you go a little overboard with a parenthetical comment or two. This is okay for email, but too many of these undermines your authority as an author and scientist. So just be on the lookout for these, which I highlighted. In other cases, you pitch your tone and argument too low and it comes off patronizing: for example, “Science is our friend.” Or,  “Ranking is fun.”  I always tell authors that the Oxford audience watches PBS and listens to NPR. They want to improve themselves when they willingly pick up a book….


I learned a lot, but the array of recent books available on the topic of ranking, not to speak of the plentiful material available online on the subject, suggests the question: Why should someone read your book?  How is it different from other similar books?  In the final chapters, your message is that we need ranking and there really isn’t anything better, but just be cautious.  How do we do this?  Can you create a list or short chapter that addresses the actions we can take to proceed cautiously?  There are many writers who are telling us that this game we all play should be abolished since it’s the wisdom of the crowds and we are stupid to be hoodwinked.
Tell us why, with the proper precautions, ranking and rating not only won’t go away, but how it’s good for us.  You need to weave in a serious argument into the many entertaining stories you tell to elevate your book to something that at times sounds like a long (albeit entertaining) magazine article and into a book-length discussion on a topic that we should take seriously.  Are there things that are suspicious that we need to be aware of on the internet?  You know so much. Share your pearls and perils with us!

One of the more interesting chapters is on reputation.  Can you make clear what we can and cannot do to game the system?  What are some actions everyone should do?  I don’t use Facebook and someone told me to have a picture and profile on LinkedIn, and so I did. But I don’t pay any attention to these kinds of things. Should everyone check out certain things online about themselves?



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