In this new dispensation, the power to pass judgment on the quality and publishability of a scholarly submission is to be devolved well beyond small rings of anonymous experts (peer reviewers) to online "brown-bag" sessions -- a shifting kind of e-brownbag community, if you like -- in which as many experts and apprentices ('grad students') with "the time" can equally participate.
There are a number of reasons why scholars in the developing world would view this new trend with even more interest than she probably imagines when she writes:
"Clubby exclusiveness, sloppy editing and fraud have all marred peer review on occasion. Anonymity can help prevent personal bias, but it can also make reviewers less accountable; exclusiveness can help ensure quality control but can also narrow the range of feedback and participants. Open review more closely resembles Wikipedia behind the scenes...".
Still, as Cohen notes, this "open-door policy" poses some dangers:
1. Peer review would turn into some kind of "American Idol" spectacle [Now, only a select few pick the idols: who are typically American in American publications, and European in European ones].
2. Reviewers might not be as, at once, incisive and 'blunt' in public as they have been in private, working "blindly" [Which was a good thing].
3. Comments might not be as "comprehensive and conceptual" as they have been, and instead become "short and episodic" texts, fired at "warp speed" [Which, putting the speed aside, would be 'degenerate'].
4. 'Know-nothings' would rule the process [Which would be a terrible blow to professionalism and disciplinary excellence].
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