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Tag: peer review

Am I a Historian?

The question “am I a historian?” first bothered me after reading a blog post written by colleague Jason Heppler, in which he writes: I am a young historian — heck, I barely even qualify for that title when I have no book to my name and don’t hold a PhD yet. But as a researcher very early in my career… In fairness to Jason, I talked with him about it and he backs off of calling himself a historian in this post as more of a rhetorical device. However, when Sara Mayeux did the essentially the same thing, tweeting I’m…

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The DH Delusion

[Brian goes to a dark place after reading Evgeny Morozov’s The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom and Jaron Lanier’s “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism” for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar.] Evgeny Morozov examines the Internet’s relation to authoritarian states, arguing there is a Western misconception, rooted in the Cold War, that the Internet, and information systems more broadly, create political change. This “cyber-utopianism,” as Morozov dubs it, assumes that the Internet inherently favors democracy and works against oppressive governments. Morozov warns that cyber-utopianists, combined with a misguided strategy he calls “Internet-centrism” creates the “Net…

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Writing History in the Digital Age

[In lieu of readings this week, our digital humanities seminar chose sections of Writing History in the Digital Age on which to comment during their open peer review stage. You can find my contributions under my name here, or when you read through the two essays on which I commented (I have a feeling these links may not be permanent so my apologies if future people find them to be broken).] Open peer review is a great layer of scholarly discussion that should be added to, not replace, current practices of peer review. Peer review’s current practices of total secrecy…


Defending Peer Review

The Aporetic: What strikes me about argu­ments in sup­port of open peer review is that they are often premised on a utopian vision of our dig­i­tal future and a dystopian view of our ana­log present. The utopi­anism is nei­ther sur­pris­ing nor prob­lem­atic. Pro­po­nents of change are under­stand­ably enthu­si­as­tic. Once exper­i­ments are launched, some of this enthu­si­asm will be tem­pered by expe­ri­ence. There is every rea­son to expect these mod­els to improve through trial and error. I am con­cerned, though, about the extremely neg­a­tive views of cur­rent peer review prac­tices that seem to moti­vate the reform move­ment. There is no doubt…

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Future of Academic Editing

The Aporetic: But peer review is a crush­ingly slow, turgid process. Estab­lished in the age when mail was deliv­ered in horse cars, and no one expected or any­thing like fast com­mu­ni­ca­tion, it coasts along on an ear­lier generation’s low expec­ta­tions. Peer review is hard work for the reviewer, and more impor­tant, it’s both uncom­pen­sated and, for the most part, extremely unre­ward­ing. You get noth­ing for your efforts except per­haps some books and a thank you. It’s a pro­fes­sional oblig­a­tion, not a pro­fes­sional pleasure. … Sup­pose the edi­tor were more like a moderator–someone who set an agenda, or a sub­ject, and…

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Social Media & Publishing

The Chronicle: participants say social media are “being used as an alternative to the existing system by young researchers who feel frustrated” by the tight control that senior scholars and traditional publishers have over the selection and dissemination of research. Good papers increasingly turn up in the social-media networks, according to people in these focus groups. “They’re even beginning to question peer review,” Mr. Nicholas said. “They were honestly saying it’s more important to contact and connect with loads of people than simply pay homage to one or two authorities.” Some publishers who provided contact information for the survey have…

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