I need to reevaluate how I describe peer review to students. I've been oversimplifying my description of the process in a bid to quickly explain to students what it means when their professors require that their sources be scholarly or peer-reviewed and how they can find these articles.
This occurred to me after I attended a recent conference presentation by Anne-Marie Deitering and Kate Gronemyer, both of Oregon State University. Deitering and Gronemyer didn't just delve into peer review, it went spelunking where the fish glow and don't have eyes. While I'm still processing their incredibly nuanced discussion, I want to share journals that support open peer-review. Open peer review is also known as transparent peer review. Basically, it opens part or all of the peer review process of reviewer comments and author edits and so forth for anyone to read along with the article itself. In some cases, known as community review, the journals accept and publish readers' comments after the article is published.
Putting aside the discussion of "What this will do to scholarship!" these open peer review sites are a gold mine to students and new researchers who haven't quite grasped the scholarly publishing process of reviewing and editing and clarifying and double-checking the data and rewriting. Personally, I was hugely relieved to discover that the articles I read in journals did not spring wholly formed from the author's keyboard. Open peer review sites also reveal that very little published in research articles is the final word on the research discussed therein. Reviewers may cite contradicting research, outline alternate perspectives, question the research methodology, or elaborate on implications for future research. Currently, journals with open peer review processes are heavily weighted to the sciences and the UK.
Trying to teach students about scholarly research and communication? Instead of assigning a standard lit review, create an assignment or project that sends students to one of these open or community peer review journals. Students can summarize the findings of the original article, the reviewers comments, etc . . . and go on to discuss how the comments affected their understanding of the research in the article.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
"An Interactive Open Access Journal of the European Geosciences Union" features a two step review process whereby articles that have passed a "rapid access peer-review" are posted on the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions website. "They are then subject to Interactive Public Discussion, during which the referees' comments (anonymous or attributed), additional short comments by other members of the scientific community (attributed) and the authors' replies are also published in ACPD. In the second stage, the peer-review process is completed and, if accepted, the final revised papers are published in ACP. To ensure publication precedence for authors, and to provide a lasting record of scientific discussion, ACPD and ACP are both ISSN-registered, permanently archived and fully citable."
BioMed Central--some journals use open peer review
BMJ (British Medical Journal) (subscription only)
Rapid Responses--not strictly peer review, but readers may post responses to articles as a form of community review.
Current Anthropology--(subscription only) employs open peer review. Reviewers' comments are provided at the end of articles only (not reports.) Yes, the reviewers are identified.
Journal of Interactive Media in Education
Nature's Peer-to-Peer blog "for peer-reviewers and about peer review"
Nature Precedings "a place for researchers to share pre-publication research, unpublished manuscripts, presentations, posters, white papers, technical papers, supplementary findings, and other scientific documents" More of an example of the research process as revisions are posted, also illustrates community review as readers may post comments.
Overviews of the open peer review process
Journalology--bog about "science publishing trends, ethics, peer review, and open access" See especially the June 28, 2007 post, "Open peer review & community peer review" Unfortunately, there are no postings after December, 2007.
Dobbs, D. (2006, January 15). Trial and Error. The
New York Times. Retrieved June 24, 2008, from New York Times.com.