What are you looking for in post-publication peer-review?

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Posted by Rob Walsh, community karma 1466

I often overhear discussion of post-publication peer-review. The definition of the term as I’m understanding it is that after a work is published, readers should be able to leave their thoughts on that article. In a sense, this is a lot like leaving comments on a blog.

I was reading an article from Shakespearean Quarterly over at MediaCommons and I think they have an interesting model for allowing people to give their feedback. Instead of someone leaving a comment after the article, they are instead associated with that article's paragraphs.

With this, I have a couple of questions for the community:

  1. How many of you out there are eager to leave comments on articles?
  2. I’ve found that many articles in the post-publication review world have very meager comments associated with them – or none at all. As a reader what’s your goal for commenting on an article?
  3. For journal editors, what would your goal be for allowing articles to be commented on?
over 11 years ago

2 Comments

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Eric Baković, community karma 47

I think it's just going to take some time for people to get used to the idea of public commentary on academic work, whether post-publication or as part of a pre-publication open review process, and in the end it's not going to be the quantity but the quality of commentary that's going to make any difference to people. So it's not clear to me that we can take the relative dearth of post-publication comments on articles at this early point in time to be much of an indication of what the future will hold for (some implementations of) this idea.

As an editor -- and speaking now just about post-publication commentary on articles -- I would want to encourage readers and authors to further engage with the contents of an article, and for that further engagement to be closely associated with the article so that future readers don't have to reinvent the wheel as much as they might otherwise. And if the commenting tools were sufficiently sophisticated to allow people to comment on individual parts of articles, and to link comments and related articles together in some well-structured way, so much the better.

over 11 years ago
" I would want to encourage readers and authors to further engage with the contents of an article, and for that further engagement to be closely associated with the article so that future readers don't have to reinvent the wheel as much as they might otherwise" That's an interesting take on one of the benefits of PPR. I've never heard that as one of the justifications.
Rob Walsh – over 11 years ago
Rob -- I think that's because most of the discussions of PPR are very author-centric. This is what I like about Kathleen Fitzpatrick's notion of "peer-to-peer review" -- it puts more of the focus on what readers (qua reviewers or otherwise) can get out of an open review process.
Eric Baković – over 11 years ago
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Abdessamad MOUZOUNE, community karma 125

Referring to the Popperian model of science (for short, scientists are to pose falsifiable hypotheses and then try to show them to be false), I think that comments from readers should be an important part of that falsification effort. As to “how many are eager to leave comments on articles”, well, your interesting post on “post-publication peer-review” is here for a week without any written comment though it was viewed many times: That can give a idea about the answer! I think  Popper didn’t take into account the fear from confrontation, among others …

over 11 years ago
"well, your interesting post on “post-publication peer-review” is here for a week without any written comment". Well said :)
Rob Walsh – over 11 years ago
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