Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cleaning the inbox, 9/1, part 2

Round 2. JS writes in with the following question:
What would you and your readership think of 'open-source' style peer review (of the kind described in the attached article) for philosophy journals?

I'm curious what flaws/virtues younger philosophers would find with this kind of thing. Here's a link to the piece.
If you haven't read the piece and don't want to read it, here's the basic idea: Journals post submissions online, invite a selected group of experts to post comments on those submissions, and allow others to post comments once they have registered their names. In the process, the authors also seem to be able to respond to the comments.

Doesn't sound like too bad of an idea to me. And, that's the extent of my thoughts on the subject right now. I probably have more to say about it, but I need to schedule more blog posts, get shit out for the PAPA, etc, etc. Stay tuned for Round 3, the final round.

--Jaded Dissertator

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The article notes three features of this review system that seem positive: (1) faster review times, (2) author feedback, and (3) a more democratic process.

I've got doubts regarding (1) and (3). From an editor's perspective, you want to ensure quality comments, and so you want to invite a couple or more referees to comment. The concern here isn't simply to ensure that you've got competent referees, but that someone is responsible for reading the entire paper carefully and giving an overall assessment. (Other commenters may not read the paper carefully, or will comment only on a single idea it raises, or comment on another comment, etc.) So you don't want it to be entirely democratic. But if you're waiting on a few select referees to make a report before making a final decision, will the process be any faster?

On the other hand, author feedback seems good, as does the possibility of a large number of 'referees'. And in any case, the article says that this idea is experimental, and trying it out on a few issues of a few journals seems like a worthwhile idea.