“Dispirited, often ineffectual, and in some respects corrupt”? : re-assessing ‘the invisible hand’ of peer review
In an international academic research environment of ever-increasing scrutiny, a plethora of regulatory and evaluative frameworks permeates all aspects of university based research publication and funding. Peer review is at the centre of the quality control of scholarly publication. Yet while peer review has been under scrutiny in the sciences for decades, and especially in individual disciplines such as medicine and mathematics, in the creative arts and humanities there has been less recognition that peer review is only one, relatively recent system of evaluation, with strengths and weaknesses, and one to which refinements can be made. This article reviews the recent literature on peer review to interrogate peer review and its variations, with the intention of beginning a conversation on possible alternatives that might be employed in the creative arts.