All that glitters is not gold: The shaping of contemporary journal peer review at scientific and medical journals

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Title: All that glitters is not gold: The shaping of contemporary journal peer review at scientific and medical journals
Authors: Gaudet, Joanne J.
Date: 2014
Abstract: The main goal for this paper is to propose an analysis of the shaping of contemporary journal peer review at natural science and medical journals. I investigate journal peer review beyond a pre-constructed process or self-evident object of study based on common experience. To do so, I use the theoretical concept of social form to capture how individuals relate around a particular content. For the social form of ‘boundary judgement’ (i.e., journal peer review), content refers to decisions from the judgement of scientific written texts held to account to an overarching knowledge system. I shun journal peer review as a supposedly purely rational process borne of a need for rationality – instead, I explore the social conditions, dynamics, processes, and contexts that contributed to its contemporary shaping. Analysis highlights how economic dynamics play a critical role in shaping pre-publication journal peer review (traditional peer review) as a paradigmatic form of peer review to the detriment of more open journal peer review forms and of journal business models that stray from the traditional reader-pay model. I conclude that all that glitters is not gold with traditional peer review.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/31238
CollectionSociologie et anthropologie // Sociology and Anthropology - Publications
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