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Peer Review Going Digital?

Some scholars in the humanities, tired of the traditional peer review system, are arguing in favor on an online peer review system, in which peers could review their work before it is submitted for publication in a journal, reports the New York Times' Patricia Cohen. The prestigious Shakespeare Quarterly started the trend by announcing it would be posting four essays, not yet accepted for publication, on its website, and inviting commentary for the benefit of the authors. At least one other journal is planning to try a similar system, Cohen says. The idea is to phase out the "clubby exclusiveness, sloppy editing and fraud" that have marred peer review in recent years, she adds. Some scholars are wary, but acknowledge that the Web already has an effect on academic research. The Daily Scan wants to know: would such a system work for scientific journals?