¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 For Shakespeare critics and scholars, among the most significant consequences of media change will be transformations in how we communicate with each other about our work and publish new research. In keeping with the topic of its special issue, 61:3, “Shakespeare and New Media,” Shakespeare Quarterly conducted an experiment in open peer review, for this issue, which ran from 1o March to 5 May 2010.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 This site archives the experiment itself: the exchanges that took place around four essays under consideration for possible publication in SQ 61:3 and three scholarly reviews that had (unlike the essays) already been accepted for publication. The editors invited thoughtful feedback from Shakespeare scholars and other readers on any essay that fell within their areas of expertise — in terms of its originality, accuracy, and stylistic and rhetorical merits. Because scholars whose work is being reviewed may need to show that experts in the field participated in this process, we asked readers to register in their own names.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Comments on the essays are now closed but the site is still open for general conversation about the experiment and reactions to it. You may find these at the guest editor’s blog and at the general comments page.
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 Reading the essays and comments: Select a title at right, then page forward or back by clicking the arrows at the top of the reading window. Read comments by clicking the bubble at the upper left of each paragraph to open the comment window for that paragraph, or clicking the respective comment bar at right.
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 The Process: After the initial editorial evaluation, authors were invited to opt into the open review process. The essays of those who opted in were posted here for public commentary and feedback by the journal’s readers. Authors have been invited to respond to this feedback in revision, before submitting their revised essays for final selection. The publication decision was based on the revised essays. (Declining the open review and opting for a traditional review would not negatively affect the selection process — it simply established a different review path.) For further details see “About” and FAQs.
¶ 7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 Our hosts: this open-review period was hosted by MediaCommons, a digital network dedicated to promoting scholarly discourse about media studies and the digital humanities. In preparation for this experiment, the SQ editors consulted Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s history of peer review and assessment of its possibilities in digital platforms. See Chapter One of Planned Obsolescence.