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A Social Approach to Peer Review

by Jeffrey R. Young

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Article excerpt

Academic Social Network Hopes to Change the Culture of Peer Review

An academic social network has added a tool it hopes will shake up the system of peer review. The network is called Academia.edu, and it has grown to more than 25 million registered participants, who use it mainly to post their published papers in order to help others find them (and, it’s hoped, cite them).

Our take

Academic Crowdsourcing on Steroids

While this article boasts that the online site Academia.edu has more than 25 million registered participants, a quick visit to the site shows that this number is growing exponentially—now at more than 31 million academics in residence. The online social network is providing another opportunity for peer review, but will teachers embrace this online community in addition to, or instead of, attendance at conferences where papers are presented?

The numbers alone suggest that they already are. And, the Academia.edu site references a recent study that shows a 73 percent boost in citations for papers that have been uploaded to the site over the past five years. It’s a form of crowdsourcing and an opportunity for academics to leverage peer review in a big way.

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