Over at The Philosopher’s Cocoon, Helen de Cruz (SLU) laments her experiences with peer review from the perspective of an editor trying to get submissions refereed, saying “it is my strong suspicion that the peer review system is finally broken beyond reasonable repair.”She writes:
It has come to the point that the most suitable referee(s) for a paper are almost never available. It takes us so long to find reviewers, sometimes a month, six weeks or more (this situation is also exacerbated by the fact that many people don’t respond to referee requests at all). This lengthens the span of time even more for the total review process. All sorts of small fixes don’t work anymore, e.g., shortening the time that people get to review, asking for alternatives (this is still very much appreciated, but unfortunately alternative referees are just as unavailable).
She is seeking alternatives to the peer-review system, not just “tinkering” (like perhaps this?) but something more radical (perhaps something like this). I urge readers to head over there to propose some.
One of the first commenters there referenced “Slow Philosophy,” a proposal Jennifer Whiting (Pittsburgh) floated here in 2015, which would alleviate a variety of problems. If you’re unfamiliar with it, give it a read.
de Cruz notes “Of course, it could be that my editorial experience is atypical—I’m just one scholar.” It might be useful to hear from others in editorial positions at journals about the extent to which their experiences match up with hers.