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Discrete CollectionsPolitics, economics and social science collections
TitleEconomic Journal: Correspondence With Contributors
Ref NoRES/6
DescriptionCorrespondence between editors of the Economic Journal and contributors (and would-be contributors) of articles and notes. Files up to 1970 are open to researchers.
These files were kept by successive editors of the Economic Journal. These were Sir Roy Harrod (joint editor 1945-1961), Sir Charles Carter (1961-1970) and Sir Austin Robinson (joint editor with Harrod and Carter, who mostly dealt with book reviews but occasionally also took a hand with articles and notes).
The files contain correspondence between the contributors and the editors of the Economic Journal and reports from referees and Associate Editors on the articles submitted. There are not many reports on articles among these files, as before 1970 the editors tended to make up their own mind about articles -Harrod almost never consulted referees and Carter did only occasionally. Very occasionally there are copies of the articles submitted, although these were usually returned to the author or destroyed. Sometimes there is additional correspondence from people wanting to comment on an article, or when a reader commented on an already published article and corresponded with the authors. Sometimes the correspondence touches on topics other than the articles, in particular letters to and from Harrod are often as much personal letters as they are contributors letters. The correspondence also reflects Economic Journal editorial policy in practice.
The names of all correspondents who could be identified have been mentioned in the file descriptions, except the Economic Journal editors themselves (as the date of the file shows who was editor at the time). It is strongly recommended that researchers trying to trace individuals should consult the Archives database, as all the names of correspondents as well as the names of the editors have been entered in name authority file format as keywords.
There is a closure of thirty years on files in this section. This means that files between 1976-1980 (the editorship of John Flemming) will be opened in 2010 and files between 1980-1986 (the editorship of Charles Feinstein and John Hutton) will be opened in 2016. In the meantime they can only be consulted after application to the RES. Files of this period are similar to the ones before 1970, but with many more reports on articles. This is because from 1970 there was a policy of automatically consulting at least one referee, and from 1976 an Associate Editor also had to be consulted. The BLPES Archives also holds material of this type from 1986 onwards under future Economic Journal editors, but this is not yet fully catalogued and also will not be open to researchers until it is 30 years old.
System of Arrangement:
Sub-section 6/1 contains the sequence of files kept by Harrod and Carter, which were started from 1945 onwards and ended in 1970.
Sub-section 6/2 consists of files ending during the period 1970-1976 under Champernowne and Reddaway, mostly started from 1970 onwards but some started earlier (as far back as 1945) where contributors made earlier contributions.
Sub-section 6/3 consists of files ending during the period 1976-1980 under Flemming, mostly started from 1976 onwards but some started earlier (as far back as 1945) where contributors made earlier contributions.
The post-1980 files were transferred to the BLPES Archives in September 1997. They were found to consist of a file per paper, not per contributor, and to be arranged alphabetically by name of first author in the following date sequences, which have been preserved: 1980-1986, 1986-1991 and 1991-1995.
The 1980-1986 files have been catalogued as sub-section 6/4.
The 1986-1991 and 1991-1995 files are to be catalogued as sub-sections 6/5 and 6/6 respectively. They will be opened to researchers when 30 years old, i.e. in 2021 and 2025.
The sequence of files in sub-section 6/1 originally consisted of approximately 1910 files, while sub-sections 6/2 and 6/3 together originally consisted of 2354 files. The vast majority of the articles submitted were never published, and consequently most of the files were very thin, without even a referees report, and therefore of little value. Given the sheer volume of these files, it was decided that an appraisal policy was necessary. It was agreed to by the BLPES Archives and the RES that the files of authors who had had an article published in the Economic Journal would be automatically chosen for preservation, but if an author had only rejections, the file would be kept only if it conformed to one of the following principles:

This policy was duly implemented for the files up to 1980, and the catalogued files represent the result. Files dating from 1980 onwards will also be appraised in this way when they reach the appropriate age.
Access StatusMainly closed; some items open
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