Blog-Based Peer Review

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Lisa Spiro:

"While the traditional peer-review process includes only a few often anonymous reviewers, new approaches to peer review engage a larger community in evaluation and leverage collaborative bookmarking and social tagging applications to determine the impact of a work. For example, in preparing his book Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies for publication, Noah Wardruip-Fruin is pursuing two methods of peer-review: the traditional process, through MIT Press, and blog-based peer review. He’s posting the book in sections to Grand Text Auto and using CommentPress to engage in a conversation with readers. In reading over Wardruip-Fruin’s meta-reflections on blog-based peer review, I was struck by his observation that getting feedback from multiple reviewers helps him to figure out whether something just bothered one reader or is a deeper problem: “the blog-based review form not only brings in more voices (which may identify more potential issues), and not only provides some ‘review of the reviews’ (with reviewers weighing in on the issues raised by others), but is also, crucially, a conversation (my proposals for a quick fix to the discussion of one example helped unearth the breadth and seriousness of the larger issues with the section).” For Wardruip-Fruin, the “social process” produces comments that he trusts more, since they emerge from community dialogue. Some have criticized this approach, arguing that removing anonymity means that comments aren’t as honest and that opening up the review process dilutes its authority, but it seems to me that blog-based peer review resembles an online writing workshop—you hear from multiple readers and get a sense of how your argument is playing out." (

More Information

  1. Social Scholarship
  2. Wardruip-Fruin’s meta-reflections on blog-based peer review