Peer Review is hampering our ability to be topical

Peer reviewed journal publication is becoming anachronistic at the same time as it remains the gold standard. Something needs to change with respect to publication potential for academics in the UK.Peer reviewed journals are still the most sought after output, and rightly so.But the reviewing process can easily take a year from submission to publication, and that is often only the online version. Publication can take two years for the print version. One can wait six months or more to be rejected and then have to start the whole process all over again.Reviewers are exhausted and increasingly find it difficult to find the time to do this unpaid labour.It is virtually impossible now to submit work anonymously when one can easily type a few words in a search engine and find who is working on what.It is impossible to write in a timely manner. The world has changed before the paper has been reviewed.It is impossible to contribute to ongoing debates when the conversation has altered so much by the time you get to make your contribution.But, this seems to be the only avenue we have got for peer reviewed publications. Blogs, podcast, newspaper articles, and other types of output I’ll become increasingly common, adding to see academics work and yet there is deservedly a lot of anxiety when it comes to citing these in subsequent papers.If the point of academic research is so that lessons can be learned for the future then something needs to change.I can understand why the term academic is often taken to imply meaningless, abstract, useless. What is the solution?

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