Peer Review

Though I generally support double-blind peer review as a more or less viable way of ensuring the quality of research for publication in scholarly journals, I do find myself wondering whether such reviews really are blind in most situations. In fields such as Information Science it is very often the case that researchers know what other scholars are working on and the type of research they generally do. They may likely be familiar with the writing style of their peers. With all that knowledge about what others in the field are working on, what they normally research and how they write, is it really reasonable to assume that the scholars asked to review research will be completely unaware of who created the material to be reviewed? I think not, and in the cases where reviewers do recognize the authorship of the piece they have been asked to review, I suppose the best we can hope for is that they attempt to remain as objective as possible. Are there any ways to ensure that a reviewer be unaware of the authorship of what they have been asked to review?

On a different note, I do applaud the attempts to find alternative methods of ensuring academic quality for publishing in journals since there are so many issues with the traditional methods. It seems that open peer review has significant potential as displayed by the success of Shakespeare Quarterly in 2010, which we discussed in class. It will be interesting to see what further developments will happen in open peer review. I would certainly consider submitting future research to an open peer review process if the results were binding for the editor. I find it very interesting how open peer review allows for so many different perspectives on a piece of research to be received by the author. It seems to me that this would increase the these different perspectives, possibly from different disciplines, could result in excellent critiques that could improve the research and would otherwise have gone undone.


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