The Future of Peer Review from Founder of Academia.Edu

February 5th, 2012

It takes way too long to get something peer reviewed.

Many academics are excited about the future of instant distribution of research. Right now the time lag between finishing a paper, and the relevant worldwide research community seeing it, is between 6 months and 2 years. This is because during that time, the paper is being peer reviewed, and peer review takes an incredibly long time. 2 years is roughly how long it used to take to send a letter abroad 300 years ago.

So he suggests instant distribution, and cite counts via Google Scholar or social networking could be a measure of the quality of work, and count towards academic credit in much the same way peer review operates (yeah right, let’s see this happen):

One new metric of academic credit that has emerged over the last few years is the citation count. Google Scholar makes citation counts public for papers, and so now everyone can see them easily. Citations between papers are like links between websites, and citation counts are an instance of the Crowd Review process.

Legend has it that Larry Page came up with the idea of PageRank after reflecting on the analogy between citations and links. Citation counts nowadays play the dual role of driving discovery on Google Scholar, as they determine the ordering of the search results, and help to determine academic credit. . .  . In the case of social platforms, the metric that drives discovery is how much interaction there is with your content on the social platform in question.