The Web Instead of Traditional Peer Review?
Posted by dlende on August 24, 2010
That’s a more accurate title, but I really wanted to call this post, Tenure Online?
First off, I wanted to ask the question, what do professors out there think? Can peer-review be open sourced? Is online work getting any credit, or is it still all about traditional peer reviewed articles?
The prompt for this is an article in the NY Times: Scholars Test Web Alternative to Peer Review
The grueling process of subjecting work to the up-or-down judgment of credentialed scholarly peers has been a cornerstone of academic culture since at least the mid-20th century.
Now some humanities scholars have begun to challenge the monopoly that peer review has on admission to career-making journals and, as a consequence, to the charmed circle of tenured academe. They argue that in an era of digital media there is a better way to assess the quality of work. Instead of relying on a few experts selected by leading publications, they advocate using the Internet to expose scholarly thinking to the swift collective judgment of a much broader interested audience.
The larger point comes later in the article, and it’s one I hope to hear people’s opinions about:
Today a small vanguard of digitally adept scholars is rethinking how knowledge is understood and judged by inviting online readers to comment on books in progress, compiling journals from blog posts and sometimes successfully petitioning their universities to grant promotions and tenure on the basis of non-peer-reviewed projects.