Peer review, uneasiness, and #GradDH

By K.G. Smith

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In Planned Obsolescence, Kathleen Fitzpatrick discusses potential futures of peer review. While discussing Noah Wardrip-Fruin’s experiment in peer review, she explains:

In the end, he notes, “the blog commentaries will have been through a social process that, in some ways, will probably make me trust them more” (Wardrip-Fruin). Knowing the reviewers’ reputations, and seeing those reputations as part a dynamic process of intellectual interaction, produces the authority of the comments, and will thus affect the authority of the book that Wardrip-Fruin finally publishes.

This immediately reminded me of Jean Bauer’s JDH article “Who You Calling Untheoretical?” In the article, Bauer argues that the theory brought to bear on digital projects can inflect the project as a whole—from vocabulary to color choices. The fascinating choice is how Bauer handles the process of revision of the blog post for republication in JDH. She explains in a note prefacing the piece:

[A note from the author: This blog post, as a piece of prose, is very much of the moment when it was written. Likewise its reception has been based on its tone as well as its content. So, rather than take this chance to revise the piece, I have decided to annotate the …read more

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