What would you do with an academic economic journal if you were given control over it? What innovations would you enforce designed to make the journal more to your liking? Below I list some ideas talked about in the corridors of academia and ask you to give your opinion on them.
A. Publish the name of the referee if the article is accepted. This is designed to reduce cronyism and gives an additional signal to the outside world, i.e. the quality of the referees.
B. Publish a set of short comments from authors and/or editors with each accepted paper designed to explain the main contribution to an outside audience.
C. Have a too hot to handle section where one publishes papers that have been rejected by at least 3 other major journals because they were interesting. Youd ask people who submit a paper that was rejected at other journals to send the referee reports and editorial decisions on that paper and if its clear that the paper was not deemed to be wrong, but just offensively interesting, then you publish it. Key phrases you could look for are both referees think this is interesting and important, but not quite right for this journal; or the referees all agree you have a major point but want to see more evidence before they are convinced.
D. Allow simultaneous submission to other journals, coupled with a short window in which the offer to publish stands if the paper is accepted. This is a pre-commitment devise to ensure fast decisions (you want to offer publication before the other journals), and you then do away with the nonsense of lengthy revisions.
E. Have an online voting system whereby members of the journal can vote on the articles published in each issue. You can then draw up a ranking of articles, whilst explicitly publishing the names of those who voted for an article so as to avoid cronyism. This gives outsiders a much stronger signal as to what peers really think of an article.
F. Have a policy section wherein individuals are invited to expand on their ideas for reforming a particular aspect of the economy. Just as an example, one could invite Clive Hamilton to explain in 15 pages how hed try to overcome the growth fetish if he was in charge of Australia.
G. (more fundamental). In stead of publishing papers that chip away at some minor aspect of some minor problem, one could alternatively each 6 months or so publish a complete vision document whereby one gives as complete an overall vision on how the economy (or society as a whole) functions. Each edition then of course highlights the new bits in this overall vision. Contributors are then allowed to work on the entire vision, but are required to expand that overall vision whilst retaining internal consistency. This is designed to overcome the problem of having endless streams of minor contributions that are essentially about casting doubt on others and that ask others to take another particular factor into account without working out how it all fits together. Journals then become schools of thought.
Any other ideas?