8150Peer review (was Marcion's Gospel)
- Oct 30, 2013
Tommy Wasserman recently asked me on this list: “Have you published your research anywhere, e.g., in peer-reviewed journals?” (Simple answer: No, but see below) I should perhaps have asked him why he was asking, because it appears that the issue is important to him, as indicated by the newer post below. I suspect (and would be happy to be wrong) that my answer makes him less likely to want to even begin to engage any of the work I have presented on my website.
Having read the blogpost mentioned below, I find the comments at least as valuable as the post itself, and recommend that everyone reading the post should also read all the comments, since they make some good additional points. However, perhaps the most interesting point to me is in Larry Hurtado’s original post itself, where he writes: “This peer review takes place in a variety of ways. It may well commence with sending one’s essay or other written work to another scholar for comment and critique. It may also involve presentation of one’s work in a conference or seminar where other scholars are present to comment. Indeed, often these seminars may involve the work being provided to other scholars in advance, so that they have the chance to check data, etc., and so come better prepared to engage the work.”
Although I haven’t been asked (and don’t expect) to present my work at a seminar, doesn’t asking people on this list to critique my work count as “being provided to other scholars?” In other words, doesn’t this list also act as a form of peer review? If so, then to paraphrase Tommy Wasserman, I “have published my research in a peer-reviewed forum.” Now, although I have no scholarly credentials, I believe that by at least one definition (A specialist in a given branch of knowledge) I can claim to be a scholar. Also, I do believe that a ‘fresh face’ from a different discipline can sometimes see things that others may have missed. Of course, someone other than I has to decide whether that’s true in my case, but my continued acceptance on this list (and its predecessor) for the last 10 years suggests that at least some people find my contributions worth having.
So, I will now ask Tommy Wasserman the question: Why did you ask whether I had published my research?
David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA
In the midst of debates where various claims are made, here is a very thoughtful blogpost by Larry Hurtado on the value of peer review as related to Biblical studies scholarship, i.e., also applicable to the discipline of textual criticism.
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