Thinking About Different Methods for ReviewPosted: November 22, 2013
A couple of weeks ago I posted about another hoax that a researcher had tried to pull on academic journals by manipulating their review process. John Bohannon submitted a fake research article to a number of open access journals, many of them accepted the article for publication and he framed this information as a sting operation that illuminated the low-quality peer review that takes place at open access journals. As I said at the time of my original post, my feeling on Bohannon’s arguably flawed sting operation, and the response that it elicited, made me question the efficacy of the peer-review process as a general practice.
Since writing that blog post I read an older article by Heather Morrison about the need for emerging forms of media to be included in academic research (2007). In the article, Morrison makes a case for using academic blogs and self-archived preprints as ways for academics to get feedback, revisions, and edits on their work before it is submitted for publication in a peer-review journal (2007). She suggests that this has two benefits: 1) it can help speed up the speed at which the peer review process can occur, because many of the necessary changes and additions have already been made by the author before submission, and 2) it can help disseminate information and academic thought on topical concerns in a more efficient and collaborative manner.
I found Morrison’s article helpful in coming up with a more proactive response to things like Bohannon’s sting operation than I previously had. Rather than respond by just being wary of the peer-review process and it’s ability to produce quality publications, Morrison’s article is a call for researchers and academics to use some of the communication tools that are readily available to us to imagine new methods of conducting research and participating in review.
Bohannon, J. (2013, October 4). Who’s afraid of peer review. Retrieved from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/60.full
Morrison, H. (2007). Rethinking collections- Libraries and librarians in an open age: A theoretical view. First Monday, 12(10). Retrieved from http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1965/1841