My interest in highlighting peer-reviewed research online derives from my teaching experience. Students, especially as they start college, are naive about the verity of anything they see on the screen. Wikipedia has certainly replaced Britannica as the single source most commonly cited – and students are sometimes outraged when faculty require peer-reviewed sources.
Some interesting attempts to blend the peer-review mechanism with the vitality of the open-source world of wiki are springing up. Scholarpedia has a system of named authors, peer-review of entries, and curatorship of existing articles. Focusing on a narrow band of topics, they seek to develop what will become print encyclopedias through collaboration. Citizendium imports from Wikipedia but has a form of review and limits to public edits.
These build in elements of review, but that does not make it a peer-reviewed entry. Volunteers rather than solicited reviews, and the push to fill the intellectual domain described generate pressure towards acceptance rather than rigor.
The Open Source movement has the interesting characteristic of opening the door to a wider range of critique – but also to spammers, editing wars, and other problems. The experiment is still unfolding; it remains to be seen whether the promise can be fulfilled.
The BPR3 logo, when used in blogs, will identify content that derives from one person’s reading of the research. Commeners may differ, but the original text will remain. There is, however, some possibility that content from a BPR3 posting may be lifted into a wiki format – perhaps with an attempt to carry the BPR3 logo with it, even though the content cannot be maintained intact.
The “B” in BPR3 adds an important element – discernible authorship – so that readers are able to recognize not only the original source of the research but also, over time, the reliability of the blogger.