Skip to content

The death of peer review

Not Making Software Un-Social If the peer-review process isn’t working well, how do we fix it?

1. Start a professional conversation among concerned colleagues.

2. Publish articles in formal and informal forums.

3. Publish an entire issue of a peer-reviewed journal — the Journal of Access Services — where the sole contributor is the Annoyed Librarian.

The third answer is the correct one, however bizarre it sounds. But it gets better than that, because even though this stunt had plenty of coverage, it turns out that the journal’s editors weren’t in on the joke.

I am not going to dwell ad infinitum on the Annoyed Librarian. As others have observed, he or she (I’m not convinced AL is female) is obviously a well-placed librarian with a lot of pull — enough to bedazzle magazine owners, especially in financially desperate times. She or he has the gift of the gab, and good connections. Plus AL dwells in the dark side, a place that tempts with the glitter of obsidian.

The best we can all do in life is shed the things that give us grief and focus on our own excellence and the excellence of those around us. I have a lot of things on my mind: how to get everything done at work, the full set of memories I haven’t processed from Australia,  the economy, my writing workshop,  Obama’s administration picks, my Thanksgiving menu (which is trending toward oyster stew and pumpkin creme brulee, accompanied by a lovely bottle of wine Doug from CCLA gave me as a going-away gift). I will keep on track, even if the Library Bill of Rights itself gets replaced with the giggling screeds of AL.

I have even pushed away the knowledge that there is a library professor (should I tell you who it is? w)ho has told crowds of people that I am AL. The AL truly is a devil with an MLS.

The one thing that haunts me about Annoyed Librarian is my worry that when we find out who it is, the knowledge will cut like a knife.

Posted on this day, other years:

m4s0n501