Open Peer Review in the humanities

Margaret DeLacy's picture


Seth Dembo from the American Historical Association has published a guest post on "Open Peer Review in the Humanities" (March 4, 2020) in the Scholarly Kitchen blog about the current status of open peer review. This is the practice of posting a draft artcile and waiting for comments.  One thing that puzzled me was that neither the article itself or the comments on the article mentioned giving a paper at a conference as a substitute or supplement, for the open peer review process for an article in development.  I think this  comes about because the discussions are from the point of view of editors using peer review to decide whether/when to publish an article and not from the point of view of an author who wants reactions before an article appears.  I feel the best peer review involves a conversation over a cup of coffee.

Below is a link to the article and an excerpt:

"Alex Lichtenstein, editor of the American Historical Review (AHR), recently wrote “as an editor I especially value the developmental as well as evaluative role” provided by the current double-blind peer review practices and structures that he directs as editor.Despite his commitment to double-blind review, Lichtenstein is overseeing the AHR’s first foray into experimenting with open review. “History Can be Open Source: Democratic Dreams and the Rise of Digital History” by Joseph L. Locke and Ben Wright is currently posted on for an open, public comment period that will run until early April. In parallel, the editors have invited several reviewers to submit more traditional peer reports. Those reviewers have been given the option of anonymity, but their reviews will be public."

You can learn more about open peer teview on the PLOS website at

and see an example of open peer review at work in an article on the subject by Tony Ross-Hellauer  entitled "What is open peer review? A systematic review" on the "open research platform" entitled F1000Research at