He has adopted double-blind reviewing at the Quarterly (where neither party is known to the other), whereas the open peer-review experiment required both authors’ and reviewers’ names to be revealed.
Dr Schalkwyk said the experiment had been prompted primarily by a desire to harness the web’s potential to support greater scholarly discussion. It also reflected a feeling that “if we were going to talk about Shakespeare and new media, we should practise new media ways of doing things”.
However, he was so “pleased and excited” by what transpired – 41 people made more than 350 comments, many provoking responses from the authors – that he decided to repeat the experiment for this year’s special edition on Shakespeare and performance.
“The special editions are the best format for open review because there is a particular focus. You can target groups of experts to be your committed reviewers, and you can assume there will be a general body that will also be interested,” he said.
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