Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Peer review


English Language and Literature


In this NANO note, I focus on online commenting functions and how they have been—and can be—used for open peer review to help improve the quality of an author’s scholarly work and change the way publishers go about their peer review processes. While open peer review is not necessarily digital, digital technologies allow for a broader range of participants and faster dissemination of knowledge, which is why this article focuses on online open peer review. I focus on commenting functions because they are becoming the niche technology through which open peer review is occurring in digital spaces. In addition, commenting functions allow readers, authors, and editors to interact with each other within the space of the text, an action that has unique affordances for certain types of publishers and authors, depending on the goals they have for their texts. In this note, I will start by discussing Pierre Levy’s philosophy of collective intelligence as the theoretical framework upon which I am building my discussion of open peer review. Levy’s theory can help scholars in the humanities reframe notions of peer review. I will define online open peer review and then explore some of the problems inherent in trying to develop an open review process, along with possible approaches to counteracting these problems. I will discuss how open peer review can play a role in the humanities specifically, suggesting the types of publications and methods that are perhaps best suited for open review.


nano: New American Notes Online copyright © 2016 Authors retain copyright over individual works.

Publisher Citation

Sheffield, J.P. “Open Peer Review: Collective Intelligence as a Framework for Theorizing Approaches to Peer Review in the Humanities.” NANO: New American Notes Online 3 (2013): n. pag. Web.