I want to point people to a couple of things related to the intersection of peer review and open access. The first is a recent round-table discussion held at the Center for Studies of Higher Education at UC Berkeley, which brought together a great group of people including Don Kennedy, the editor of Science and Mark Rose (author of Authors and Owners) among others. The minutes are available (link) and they include a number of interesting proposals and diagnoses of the main problems facing scholarly publishing today, including some sharp observations about the financial realities of publishing peer-reviewed work and creative ideas for publishing monographs.
The other, a bit late, but still ongoing is that Noah Wardrip-Fruin over at Grant Text Auto, is experimenting with blog-based, serialized, community peer review. Noah’s book, Expressive Processing (one of a increasingly large number of texts laying claim to the field of “software studies”), is serialized for commentary using comment press (hip hip hooray!) and is being conducted along side “standard” peer review with MIT Press. I think this is a great idea whose time has definitely come, for a couple of reasons. One is that I’m more and more fond of the idea that peer review is best done by communities of people who are not anonymous. Pseudonymy might be a good idea (i.e., I don’t care who “IreadBooks69” is at Amazon but I know that s/he writes great reviews). The other is that community is a just generally a good idea. If the people commenting on Noah’s book feel as though they are contributing, are part of something, and that they get credit for it, or perhaps even get an immediate response, then that beats the heck out of the anonymous, forgotten black hole I routinely send my reviews into. I only hope Noah writes some kind of white paper-ish thing highlighting what works and what doesn’t so that people can repeat the experience.