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Editors’ Choice: Reviewing JDH Round-Up

The Journal of Digital Humanities: Post-Publication Review or the Worst of Peer Review, by Adeline Koh – August 29, 2013

The problems of traditional peer review are well known. Peer review is not transparent; it takes too long; the true blindness of peer review is questionable, especially in small fields; its gatekeeping function encourages the conservatism of scholarship. To address these concerns, the Journal of Digital Humanities published its first issue in Winter 2011 as an effort to work through some of these problems. JDH champions a “post-publication”model of review where its editors collate some of the best existing DH work and publish it in journal form. How well does this publication model work in practice?

Procedural Equity and Peer Review, by Laurie Taylor – August 29, 2013

The full posting and comments are important reading as we think about and discuss the values of and goals for peer review, as well as ways to improve peer review.  This situation emphasizes the importance of procedural equity or procedural justice:

Procedural justice is defined as the fairness of the processes that lead to outcomes. When individuals feel that they have a voice in the process or that the process involves characteristics such as consistency, accuracy, ethicality, and lack of bias then procedural justice is enhanced (Leventhal, 1980). (Source:

I Already Know What Happened and I Wasn’t Even There, by Michelle Moravec – August 29, 2013

As a scholar who studies feminist periodicals, both academic and activist, I am well aware of the long history of submissions by women of color being lost, or edited without their consent, or solicited and then rejected as “not good enough.”[1]  These historical resonances echoed through my mind, as I read updates from Adeline Koh and Roopika Risam about the DHpoco special section for the Journal of Digital Humanities September 2013 issue for which I revised a co-authored piece.

Improving the Journal of Digital Humanities, by Scott Weingart – August 31, 2013

wrote earlier on twitter that I no longer want to be involved in the conversation, by which I meant, I no longer want to be involved in the conversation about what happened and why. I do want to be involved in a discussion on how to get the JDH move beyond the issues of bias, poor communication, poor planning, and microaggression, whether or not any or all of those existed in this most recent issue. As James O’Sullivan wrote in a comment, “as long as there is doubt, this will be an unfortunate consequence.”

Crowdsourcing Best Practices for Experimental Journals: Transparency, by Adeline Koh – August 31, 2013

The problems with the customary academic peer review process are well known. The actual “blindness” of the review is often in question, especially in small fields; peer review adds an unnecessary layer which slows down the time for research to be made public; reviewing serves a gatekeeping function which often replicates conservative ideas rather than encouraging new paradigms; editorial decisions made by peer reviewed journals are often less than transparent.

Can the Digital Humanities Be Decolonized?, by Siobhan Senier – September 2, 2013

I was recently party to a debate, conducted mainly on blogs and Twitter, about an online journal’s decision to put a cluster of essays through an extra round of editing.  If that sounds arcane, it is, kind of; but readers of this blog should care about it, because it points to some very old problems in academia, which are showing up in the hot new field known as Digital Humanities (DH).  And DH is playing a bigger and bigger role in Native American literature and heritage preservation, whether that comes through the creation of large online archives (as at Yale), collaborations between academics and tribal communities (as in the Gibagadinamaagoom project), or the study of indigenous people’s use of computing tools in language revitalization.

Reflections on the JDH Editorial Process, by Journal of Digital Humanities – September 4, 2013

The publication process at the Journal of Digital Humanities (JDH) has recently come under scrutiny, and we would like to take this opportunity to shed light on the journal’s operation and reflect on how we communicate our editorial practice. We value the community’s input on these important questions.

This content was selected for Digital Humanities Now by Editor-in-Chief based on nominations by Editors-at-Large: