In today’s Inside Higher Ed, Scott Jaschik reported on sessions taking place at the Modern Language Association’s annual meeting discussing the role of traditional blind peer review in scholarly publications in light of the ever-evolving digital landscape for current and future scholarship in the humanities.
Many humanities journals still select papers for publication in this manner (UIP has several journals that follow this practice), but Aaron J. Barlow, an associate professor of English at the College of Technology of the City University of New York, argues that “blind peer review is dead. It just doesn’t know it yet.” On the panel of another session, others such as Illinois State University English professor and Kairos editor Cheryl E. Ball, offered up alternatives to the traditional peer review process. As Ball notes,
Peer reviewers don’t need rubrics. They need good ways to communicate.
It looks like change may come sooner rather than later, and like communication, change is usually a good thing.