POST: “Peer Review” is Younger Than You Think

Benjamin Schmidt (Northeastern University) has written a post examining the use of the term, “peer review,” noting that its relatively recent appearance in the scholarly record begs the question of what terminology could be used to describe “the new regime to come” as scholarship moves to digital forms.

In “‘Peer review’ is younger than you think. Does that mean it can go away?” Schmidt draws on a talk he gave in 2015 that suggests a more fluid interpretation of disciplinary practices and conceptions of scholarly rigor is necessary, specifically recognizing “how fundamentally malleable scholarly norms are.” Schmidt aligns the rise of “peer review” in the 1970s with the growth of federal funding institutions like the NSF and NIH in the 1960s, noting that the practice of peer review is also indebted to the appearance, contemporaneously, of xerox technology.

Schmidt frames his post as a provocation of sorts, and invites readers to contribute thoughts in the comments (as many already have).

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Jolanda-Pieta van Arnhem,​ ​Sarah Ames,​ Charlie Harper,​ Mies Martin,​ Liz Rodrigues,​ Argula Rublack​ ​(Editors-at-large for the week), Roxanne Shirazi (Editor for the week), and Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, Sarah Melton, and Patrick Williams (dh+lib Review Editors).