Peer review as practiced in journals today is somewhat antithetical to the spirit of the web: journals filter then publish, the web publishes then filters. I’ve shared (aka whined) my thoughts in the past on poor peer review and have offered a developmental model of scholarship. Which means I’m predisposed to finding articles like this very satisfying:
Scientists worship at the altar of peer review, and I use that metaphor deliberately because it is rarely if ever questioned. Somehow the process of peer review is supposed to sprinkle some sort of magical dust over a text which makes it “scientific” or “worthy”, yet while we quibble over details of managing the process, or complain that we don’t get paid for it, rarely is the fundamental basis on which we decide whether science is formally published examined in detail.
There is a good reason for this. THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES! [sorry, had to get that off my chest]. The evidence that peer review as traditionally practiced is of any value at all is equivocal at best…
The author then goes on to present the opposite of what I advocate (my position: publish it all, let people comment on it and filter it through their discussions and citations): “My solution to this is to radically cut the number of peer reviewed papers probably by 90-95% leaving the rest to be published as either pure data or pre-prints.”