In this piece on the future of peer review for the British Academy, I assert that, in the humanities:
- OA is not about abandoning peer review but it does provide the opportunity to rethink its role and our methods.
- 67% of existing OA journals do not charge APCs and yet academics have tended to steer clear of them.
- People opt for recognised outlets because of the (erroneously) perceived emphasis on publication venue by accreditation structures such as RAE/REF/tenure.
- In the print world peer review was historically linked to page limits; these do not apply in the electronic realm.
- Double blind review is a misnomer and even then preserved anonymity can be problematic.
- The alternative is to publish everything that meets a certain threshold of academic soundness and to let readers decide what should last; in effect a kind of post-publication, or peer-to-peer, review.
- This modification of peer review could lead to more collaboration and less insistence on an individual finished product.