Today’s New York Times has a front-page story about scholars challenging the old-school system of peer review (“Scholars Test Web Alterntive to Peer Review”). The story focuses on an experiment at Shakespeare Quarterly, the leading journal of Shakespeare studies. The journal put some submitted articles online and opened them up for public comment before deciding whether to publish them.
I’m happy to see this subject getting front-page treatment in the NYT. I’m even happier to say that I wrote a story about SQ and open peer review for the Chronicle a month ago (“Leading Humanities Journal Debuts ‘Open’ Peer Review and Likes It”). I’m biased, of course, but let me suggest that you’ll get a more nuanced picture from my story. Which ran first. A month ago. Did I mention that?
Two of the scholars mentioned in the NYT story, Dan Cohen (@dancohen) of George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media and Kathleen Fitzpatrick (@kfitz) of Pomona College, are worth following on Twitter for their thoughts on transforming how scholarship is published and shared. You’ll find more on open peer review at the MediaCommons site; MediaCommons hosted and advised the SQ experiment. Claire Potter, a k a Tenured Radical, has a post on her blog about the SQ venture and what it would take to reform scholarly publishing.
If you have thoughts on open peer review–or come across other experiments with it–please share them in the comments section. I expect this is a subject I will be writing about again soon.