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The Future of Peer Review: Four Possible Options to Nothingness


Peer review faces its biggest challenge over the next few years. This is saying a lot for an activity that has been excoriated as sexist, racist, biased, incompetent, and an accomplice before the fact in theft and skullduggery. We are at a crossroads. We must act, and act now. All that stands in our way to step forward and make the change necessary to save some form of the academic in academic works is our willingness to face the issue with resolve and the rectitude to create a new, better model. We have made all the arguments against change, and, protected in the past by economic barriers that no longer exist, we were certain that even if the arguments failed, the excessive cost to publish and distribute would prevent “less than acceptable” research from reaching the masses. Lacking the cost to publish that existed 20 years ago and facing zero-cost global distribution systems, we must now either create a responsible, guided path for academic publishing, or we will see the landscape change without us. We must act now.

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Correspondence to Thomas H. P. Gould.

Additional information

Portions of this article are contained in a forthcoming book by the author titled Do We Still Need PeerReview?: An Argument for Change, Scarecrow Press, Inc., Rowman & Littlefield Group Inc., 4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706.

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Gould, T.H.P. The Future of Peer Review: Four Possible Options to Nothingness. Pub Res Q 28, 285–293 (2012).

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  • Crossroads
  • Databases
  • e-Reserves
  • Journal publishing
  • Online publishing
  • Peer review
  • Self-publishing
  • Standards
  • Technology
  • University library