Mark Goodacre posted an interesting comment: The Jesus’ Wife Fragment and the Transformation of Peer Review? which linked to an equally interesting post Le véritable scoop de «l’Evangile de la femme de Jésus»: la transformation des normes de publication académique (peer-review), raising questions about what the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife saga may teach us about peer-review in the humanities. As often happens some interesting discussion of the post(s) took place on Facebook (WARNING you will only be able to follow that link if you are “friends” with Mark G). With blogging software trackback might lead a reader of the originalpost to Mark’s blog, but there is no trackback from Facebook… what blogging needs is a FB app that allows cross posting of comments (if the commenter selects this?) back from FB to the original post on the blog.
Facebook needs blogs for sustained posts that do more than tickle a meme, but blogging in turn needs a decent Facebook app!
BTW here are my comments (so far):
The media spotlight certainly impacted this case. But does it actually nullify it as a precedent, could pre-publication with public comment from interested parties (mainly scholars with an interest in the topic) substitute for or complement traditional secretive peer review.
There are certainly vested interests that will militate against such change, but there are benefits, at least for a scholar who thinks their work important, such a process would increase the “impact” of such articles…
Mark responded wondering if the actual HTR process this time was a good repeatable one, I replied:
No, but possibly a very light first round (basically just checking it “looks” scholarly with a skim read) then pre-publication, possible revision before the final decision to publish and definitive citable version…
Computer mediated collegiality The old draft: colleagues comment, publish… but with a much wider and less self-selected circle of “colleagues”.
NB for copyright and confidentiality reasons I have not quoted other participants, which gives a one sided view and over estimates my contribution :( a decent FB app would overcome that :)