PUBLICATION: Peer Review in Practice

September 11th, 2017 § 0 comments

Butchard, Dorothy, Simon Rowberry, Claire Squires, & Gill Tasker (2017), “Peer Review in Practice”. BOOC.

Preface: The report Peer Review in Practice was originally published in beta version during Peer Review Week 2016. It was the first stage in a mini-project focusing on peer review as part of the broader Academic Book of the Future project, and reviews the existing literature of peer review, and builds models for understanding traditional and emerging peer review practices.

The report underwent its own peer review. The beta version allowed readers to make comments upon the report, and a peer review was also commissioned by UCL Press. The former are still available on the beta version, while the latter is available here. The author of the latter (Professor Jane Winters of the School of Advanced Studies, University of London) made her peer review anonymously, but agreed on request that her comments be made public and her identity revealed.

The comments we received on the beta version were from a small number of individuals, and provided some useful additional resources and suggestions. As discussed in much of the literature of peer review, however, it was difficult to encourage substantial numbers of scholars to participate in the open, post-publication peer review. We also noted that the comment function led to responses being made about individual sentences or paragraphs, rather than providing overall analysis of the report. Overall, as an experiment in open post-publication peer review, we had hoped to receive more responses that would enable the report to develop further an ongoing core of knowledge and analysis of peer review. This current version of the report also has a commenting function, and we encourage the scholarly and publishing community to engage further with our report, in order to make it a useful ongoing resource.

One of the points made in the traditional peer review was about the lack of information about monograph publishing, something which we flag up in the introduction to our report. There is little research currently written on this subject, although as part of our mini-project, we are working on a forthcoming journal article focusing on peer review and monographs publishing in the Arts and Humanities. There are also further research projects focusing on peer review, including that encapsulated in a report by Fyfe et al., Untangling Academic Publishing: A History of the Relationship Between Commercial Interests, Academic Prestige and the Circulation of Research (May 2017), and the forthcoming project on ‘Reading Peer Review’, headed by Professor Martin Eve. The next stage in our own research into peer review is examining the language of peer review in Arts and Humanities journals.

DOI: 10.14324/111.9781911307679.15

Repository Version

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