(Initial) Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali's blog has now moved to http://blog.mahabali.me

Origins of Courteous Review


“a system of anonymous peer review tends to work against scholarship that runs against the grain of currently accepted ideas” – great post on open peer review vs. anonymous peer reciew


Stephen Jaeger shares a letter from 2010 in which he asked the Medieval Academy of America (MAA) to reconsider the reviewing practices of its scholarly publication, Speculum . Addressed to the Executive Committee of the MAA, the letter describes some of Prof. Jaeger’s experiences with anonymous peer review in Speculum , and encourages the adoption of a more open process of evaluation, such as the ones modeled by the editors of Shakespeare Quarterly and postmedieval—bM

August 24th, 2010

Dear Colleagues,
I’m sending a copy of an article on the front page of today’s New York Times on new alternatives to peer review. I would urge the leadership of the academy and the editor and board of Speculum to take its message seriously and consider a change in its current policy of anonymous peer review.

My long and largely unhappy experience with peer review in Speculum has set my own…

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Author: Maha Bali

Associate professor of practice, American University in Cairo

3 thoughts on “Origins of Courteous Review

  1. “Reviews of inordinate savagery say more about the reviewer than the book being reviewed.”
    – Martin Amis, The Moronic Inferno (slightly paraphrased, no doubt, by me because I can’t remember the exact words!)

  2. Thanks Maha, speaks to the ability for change to have a voice that isn’t erased by those already positioned to speak. I’m not sure that courtesy is entirely required when standing for a deeply held value. But without a signature it certainly isn’t a dialog. We do sometimes have to allow voices that wish not to be named–how can we do that?

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