Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Kalamazoo 2016: Recipe for a Better Peer Review

Kalamazoo 2016: Recipe for a Better Peer Review

Session Organizers: Asa Simon Mittman and Myra Seaman

Peer review has long stood as the gold standard for academic
publications, trusted to determine if a work’s methods and conclusions
meet the discipline’s requirements and thus prove it is “serious
scholarship.” Peer review is at times “blind,” in which the reviewer
remains anonymous, and sometimes “double-blind,” in which both author
and reviewer remain — at least in theory — unknown to one another. This
system is the bedrock of scholarly production and an integral part of
the hiring, tenure, and promotion processes. But does it continue to
work for today’s scholarly community the way it once did? Does it
function to foster new ideas and approaches, to improve the writing we
do, and to maintain appropriate “standards,” however defined? We believe
that this vital and influential process should not be taken as a given,
as currently practiced. This session will present a series of practical
proposals for renovation or replacement, rather than providing a forum
for documenting the problems with peer review. We invite participants in
all parts of the process, including editors from academic presses and
journals, academic grant officers, digital humanities publishers,
authors, and administrators who oversee the tenure and promotion
processes that often depend on publications. We welcome presentations on
recently adopted variants, as well as pledges for new approaches. Topics
for discussion might include: anonymity; reward for reviewers;
accountability; effects on innovation; basic goals of the process; and
whether, in fact, peer review ought to remain the standard model.

Please send abstracts of 300 words, a brief bio, and the ICMS PIF
<http://wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF>) to Myra
Seaman (seamanm@cofc.edu <mailto:seamanm@cofc.edu>) by Sept. 15, 2015.

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