New Journals, Free Online, Let Scholars Speak Out

Blog reply to Schmidt, Peter. New Journals, Free Online, Let Scholars Speak Out, Chronicle for Higher Education, February 14, 2010

We need to admit that peer-review is far from the panacea that many scholars want it to be. There have been plenty of examples of shoddiness getting by peer-review. Besides, new information comes up constantly and while something may have legitimately made it through the peer review process 10 or 15 years ago, it never would today. That’s why in today’s world, there is the possibility for a substantial improvement over traditional tools, with post peer review. Only in this way can someone know, when they are looking at a paper from 1996, that another paper was published in another journal in 2007 and effectively refuted the earlier paper.

These possibilities are relatively easy to implement today with the Web2.0 tools using forums, ratings and the like. These are the directions that would make a real difference not only to our colleagues, but to the public at large, so that everyone can see the debates, ferment, and even intellectual excitement taking place in the academy.