Symposium on Peer Reviewing in Scholarly Journals

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The idea for this symposium began when Sheryl Fontaine and Susan Hunter told Rick Gebhardt about two studies they had made of manuscript reviewing practices in composition studies--one surveying experiences and perceptions of authors and one dealing with journal referees. The subject of peer reviewing seemed an important one for a field working, as ours is, to definie its scholarly identity. Rick sensed that his efforts to bring blind refereeing to composition's oldest journal might prove useful in exploring the subject and, for addtional views, he contacted several of CCC's consulting readers. Carol Berkenkotter, who had been studying peer reviewing in the sciences, agreed to attempt a brief theoretical perspective. Phillip Arrington decided to explore the subject personally, from his experiences both as author and referee. And Doug Hesse chose to use personal experience, chaos theory, and MLA panels to discuss referees' reports as scholarship.