Peer review and secrecy in the “Information Age”



The subject of peer review has come under increased scrutiny partially due to high profile cases of fraud and other misinformation appearing in academic journals. At the same time, new publishing technologies have made it possible to experiment with new forms of peer review, while the “Open Archives Initiative” has the potential to allow authors to bypass the traditional peer review process entirely. In this paper, I examine some rationales given for the need for secrecy in peer review, especially as it relates to the perceived need for anonymity on the part of reviewers and sometimes even authors. I will propose a basic framework for secrecy and transparency as it relates to the peer review process of academic journals.