Peer Review in Academic Promotion and Publishing: Its Meaning, Locus, and Future
Since 2005, and with generous support from the A.W. Mellon Foundation, The Future of Scholarly Communication Project at UC Berkeley's Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) has been exploring how academic valuesâ€”including those related to peer review, publishing, sharing, and collaborationâ€”influence scholarly communication practices and engagement with new technological affordances, open access publishing, and the public good. The current phase of the project focuses on peer review in the Academy; this deeper look at peer review is a natural extension of our findings in Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines (Harley et al. 2010), which stressed the need for a more nuanced academic reward system that is less dependent on citation metrics, the slavish adherence to marquee journals and university presses, and the growing tendency of institutions to outsource assessment of scholarship to such proxies as default promotion criteria. This investigation is made urgent by a host of new challenges facing institutional peer review, such as assessing interdisciplinary scholarship, hybrid disciplines, the development of new online forms of edition making and collaborative curation for community resource use, heavily computational subdisciplines, large-scale collaborations around grand challenge questions, an increase in multiple authorship, a growing flood of low-quality publications, and the call by governments, funding bodies, universities, and individuals for the open access publication of taxpayer-subsidized research, including original data sets. The challenges of assessing the current and future state of peer review are exacerbated by pressing questions of how the significant costs of high-quality scholarly publishing can be borne in the face of calls for alternative, usually university-based and open access, publishing models for both journals and books. There is additionally the insidious and destructive â€œtrickle downâ€ of tenure and promotion requirements from elite research universities to less competitive and non-research-intensive institutions. The entire system is further stressed by the mountingâ€”and often unrealisticâ€”government pressure on scholars in developed and emerging economies alike to publish their research in the most select peer-reviewed outlets, ostensibly to determine the distribution of government funds (via research assessment exercises) and/or to meet national imperatives to achieve research distinction internationally. The global effect is a growing glut of low-quality publications that strains the efficient and effective practice of peer review, a practice that is, itself, primarily subsidized by universities in the form of faculty salaries. Library budgets and preservation services for this expansion of peer-reviewed publication have run out. Faculty time spent on peer review, in all of its guises, is being exhausted. As part of our ongoing research, CSHE hosted two meetings to address the relationship between peer review in publication and that carried out for tenure and promotion. Our discussions included: The Dominant System of Peer Review: Types, Standards, Uses, Abuses, and Costs; A Very Tangled Web: Alternatives to the Current System of Peer Review; Creating New Models: The Role of Societies, Presses, Libraries, Information Technology Organizations, Commercial Publishers, and Other Stakeholders; and Open Access â€œMandatesâ€ and Resolutions versus Developing New Models. This report includes (1) an overview of the state of peer review in the Academy at large, (2) a set of recommendations for moving forward, (3) a proposed research agenda to examine in depth the effects of academic status-seeking on the entire academic enterprise, (4) proceedings from the workshop on the four topics noted above, and (5) four substantial and broadly conceived background papers on the workshop topics, with associated literature reviews. The document explores, in particular, the tightly intertwined phenomena of peer review in publication and academic promotion, the values and associated costs to the Academy of the current system, experimental forms of peer review in various disciplinary areas, the effects of scholarly practices on the publishing system, and the possibilities and real costs of creating alternative loci for peer review and publishing that link scholarly societies, libraries, institutional repositories, and university presses. We also explore the motivations and ingredients of successful open access resolutions that are directed at peer-reviewed article-length material. In doing so, this report suggests that creating a wider array of institutionally acceptable and cost-effective alternatives to peer reviewing and publishing scholarly work could maintain the quality of academic peer review, support greater research productivity, reduce the explosive growth of low-quality publications, increase the purchasing power of cash-strapped libraries, better support the free flow and preservation of ideas, and relieve the burden on overtaxed faculty of conducting too much peer review.
|Date of creation:||04 Mar 2011|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/cshe/|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2001.
"Free Labour for Costly Journals?,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 183-198, Fall.
- Ted Bergstrom, 2001. "Free Labor for Costly Journals?," Microeconomics 0106002, EconWPA.
- Bergstrom, Ted, 2001. "Free Labor for Costly Journals?," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt5jc0893p, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- Glenn Ellison, 2002. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 947-993, October.
- Glenn Ellison, 2000. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," NBER Working Papers 7804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stuart M. Shieber, 2009. "Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing," Working Papers id:2196, eSocialSciences.
- repec:spr:scient:v:69:y:2006:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-006-0176-z is not listed on IDEAS
- repec:cdl:ucsbec:16-01 is not listed on IDEAS
- Aviv Nevo & Daniel L. Rubinfeld & Mark McCabe, 2005. "Academic Journal Pricing and the Demand of Libraries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 447-452, May.
- Edlin, Aaron S. & Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 2004. "Exclusion or Efficient Pricing? The "Big Deal" Bundling of Academic Journals," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt9hc6n6ds, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:cshedu:qt1xv148c8. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.