A few weeks ago, as part of a post on blogging as scholarship, I speculated about the possibility of applying peer review to blogging. It turns out that some blogs are already experimenting with this.
In comments over on the S-USIH Facebook page, Miguel Juárez, a doctoral candidate in U.S. History, Borderlands History, Urban History and Digital Humanities at the University of Texas at El Paso, pointed me in the direction of Mujeres Talk as an example of a blog that practices peer review.
Mujeres Talk is housed at the Ohio State Universities Libraries webpage and is focused on “Chicana, Latina and Native American women’s work.” It asks potential contributors to submit blog essays of 500-1500 words, which it reviews in two to three weeks. More information can be found on Mujeres Talk’s How to Submit page, as well as its About Us page.
Mujeres Talk suggests that peer-reviewing blog posts is at least practical. And it gives us a chance to consider more concretely the costs and benefits of this practice. Obviously, peer reviewing, even with a two-week turnaround time, dramatically increases the time it takes for a blog post to appear after it is written. Among other things, blogging has often been about responding immediately to events and discussions; peer review would almost certainly make such instant responses less possible.
The potential practical benefits are at least two-fold. First, peer review might improve the quality of blog posts. Second, peer-reviewed blog posts are more likely to be considered scholarship by our academic institutions.
Take a look at Mujeres Talk and see what you think.