Aaron Barlow writes in his ePMedia Journal article Peer Review and a Proposal for Revision that peer review (how academic articles and books are deemed worthy of publication)
“is a cumbersome, time-consuming process that can act as a brake on new and exciting thought. In addition, it may no longer even be necessary, but replaceable by more efficient and useful Internet vetting procedures.”

Imagine this as a parallel: If Kos applied the academic version of peer review, he would display on DailyKos only those diaries that are approved by a small group of his friends. There would be no other diaries.  It wouldn’t be the democratic process that we all associate with “Big Orange” today — where diaries can be posted by any registered user.  Why, given today’s technological possibilities, should academic publication be any different?

More below the fold.
Barlow goes on to make several other important points about the weaknesses of the academic system of peer review and why it needs to be chucked or, at least, revised.  For example, he says that:

…peer review promotes inbreeding. Writing in the blog of if:book: A Project of the Institute for the Future of the Book, Ben Vershbow states:

It’s unfortunate that the accepted avenues of academic publishing — peer-reviewed journals and monographs — purchase prestige and job security usually at the expense of readership.

Barlow summarizes solutions including the stuff about which we bloggers know much — institutionally sponsored collaborative journalism software, such as Scoop, Soapblox, Civic Space.

Who knew that we bloggers could be offering the wave of the future to academia?

What do you think, should peer review be given a hand, the finger, or the boot?

Xposted at ePluribusMedia Community Academic Censorship:  Peer Review. This is the second in Barlow’s series Responding to Criticism: The State of Education in America.

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