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Peer-reviewed blogging (not blogging on peer-reviewed work)

July 22, 2008

Is there such a thing in the blogosphere as peer-reviewed blogging? No, I don’t mean blogging on peer-reviewed research aka BPR3, a very worthy endeavour that I fully support, but rather scholarly/research blog posts that are peer-reviewed before going public? This would probably slow down the process of blogging and certainly curtail an individual scholar’s spontaneity, but wouldn’t it be a worthy experiment? Of course, this could be done every now and again, and marked with a special icon – it wouldn’t commit the individual blogger to peer approval every time s/he wished to post a new entry.

I’m just putting this to you, in a non-peer-reviewed, spontaneous way. Any leads on existing peer-reviewed blogging most welcome.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2008 10:13 pm

    The tools for just such a process are already available. In WordPress (including, it’s possible to set roles for different people and there’s even a revision system. As an editing process, it could facilitate a specific form of peer-review. However, this form of peer-review is transparent, not anonymous. There might be ways to make it anonymous, but the tools mostly facilitate transparency.
    Which leads to one of the main points about blogging: though blogging tools can be used in different ways (and unintended uses are often quite transformative), blogging as a writing method is somewhat incompatible with the current form of peer-reviewed scholarly journals. In other words, you could probably peer-review blog entries, but they would in some ways cease to be blog entries (even if they’re still made available through a blog, with RSS feeds and trackbacks).
    I’m probably overstating this. Blogging has led me away from the “publish or perish” model. Owen Wiltshire (a former student of mine, at Concordia) and Maximilian Forte (a colleague, also at Concordia) probably have more nuanced ways to describe the situation.

  2. August 4, 2008 10:10 pm

    I wasn’t thinking specifically of the journal system of peer-reviewing, but rather of a pool of fellow scholars in your own field or subfield that could voluntarily check at your request within a reasonably short period of time, say a week or so max, before you go live so that you weed out any glaring inaccuracies or particularly weak/unclear points, and generally make this opening gambit more interesting.

    This process could be transparent or it could be anonymous, as long as it helps the poster start a stronger thread. A bit of a dress rehearsal, if you like, before going on stage. People with time on their hands and a fascination with dress rehearsals could come backstage – this would be restricted entry or completely open, whatever the performers choose. With short blog posts the turn-out could be quick and it may get the particular discussion off to a stronger start. If you don’t get any feedback, you just go ahead and post without any rehearsal.

  3. August 4, 2008 10:19 pm

    I should have rehearsed that reply a bit more – I meant to say that people could come to the dress rehearsals (not necessarily backstage), i.e. they could be allowed to track the feedback and revision process that led to the actual blog post (or not, should the blogger prefer people not to see how this process unfolded; some people may not want to share with the whole wide web their fumbling attempts at formulating their thoughts pre-blog publication, while others will be only too happy to do so)

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