Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

I recently met a doctoral researcher in management studies who told me that her supervisor had told her not to cite books in her writing – she was only to cite journal papers. (A third category, namely grey literature, was presumably feel so off the guy’s radar as to need no explicit prohibition!).

If that was indeed the advice, it seems to be extraordinarily stupid – and to imply an ignorance of how the discipline in question has developed (‘Warning: No citations of Frederick Taylor or Joseph Schumpeter allowed!).

But such a perception serves to remind one that books are in some ways in a competitive struggle with other forms. One factor that hampers books is uncertainty over the role of peer review as a form of quality management.

Some scholarly books are peer-reviewed; others aren’t. Amongst those that are, sometimes the review is of the proposal only, sometimes of a sample chapter (or two), and sometimes (more rarely) of the entire script.

In the Creative Writing Studies list that I publish, the books are typically peer-reviewed at all three of those stages. We believe that devoting resources to a peer review process is the right thing to do. It is disappointing, then, that there seems to be no established bibliographic means to record that such a process has been followed.

It’s good, therefore, to hear from the Flemish Publishers Association of the Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content (GPRC) scheme. The scheme allows publishers to submit a peer review dossier which, if approved, allows a book to bear the GPRC label.

Further details re available here: http://www.gprc.be/en/content/what-gprc.

Am I missing something or is this initiative that rarity in publishing – an innovation without a downside?

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