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MediaCommons Receives Mellon Grant to Study Open Peer Review

[crossposted from MediaCommons.]

As was reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus yesterday, MediaCommons and New York University Press have together been given a $50,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of a year-long study of peer-to-peer (P2P) review. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to take what we have learned from our experiments at MediaCommons Press, as well as experiments conducted by other scholarly networks, and assess the state of open peer review in the humanities today.

We are in the process of assembling an advisory panel composed both of scholars who are invested in experimental, open modes of scholarly communication and of scholars whose work is well-positioned in more traditional publishing forms. This advisory panel will join us for a series of meetings at which we will investigate and assess a range of experiments in reviewing practices, finally helping us to produce a white paper in which we will:

1) assess the value and shortcomings of P2P review for the evaluation of scholarship;
2) develop a roadmap for scholars and publishers, articulating criteria and protocols for conducting P2P review that are both rigorous and flexible enough to apply across disciplines;
3) identify the technical functionalities necessary to support these protocols; and
4) assess tools and platforms currently available for online peer review, and consider whether their functionalities will support our proposed protocols.

The project will be managed by MediaCommons co-editors Kathleen Fitzpatrick and Avi Santo, NYU Press assistant director and editor-in-chief Eric Zinner, and NYU program officer for digital scholarly publishing Monica McCormick.

We look forward to reporting here on our progress as our work proceeds.

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  1. Congratulations. I am really glad that such great work is being recognized. MediaCommons has been a huge help for me this past year. And I look forward to more folks thinking through P2P’s viability. One day, I’m hoping that I can help my guild (religious studies) get on board with similar work, and I think the white paper will be quite useful in this regard.

  2. Thanks, Richard; we’re really excited, and look forward to helping other scholars like you who are interested in producing more openness in scholarly communication.