Peer-review is the best way to maintain quality and integrity and is the hallmark of academic publishing. Typically, this happens in a double-blind process or in a highly curated single-blind process. And while these methods are effective, they are not designed for the speed and agility required by rapidly changing content and web delivery.
In order to maintain the rigorous academic standards of the MIT Press, the Civic Media Project adopts a tiered collaborative peer review process. The editors will read all submitted case studies, and assess them for quality and relevance to the field. Those that are deemed relevant and of the highest quality are accepted, and will be copyedited and uploaded to the Civic Media Project (currently there is 40% acceptance rate). Once uploaded, the cases are immediately viewable by the public. Contributing authors become part of a rotating editorial network (about 100 authors) and are asked to review (in a public manner) at least two cases each. These peer reviews rise to the top of the Disqus comments and provide a critical framework for the discussion and analysis. Authors are given an opportunity to revise their cases based on this feedback, but are under no obligation to do so. The collaborative peer review process is designed to be constructive of a growing discourse and not simply restrictive of its boundaries.
We are always looking to improve this process and welcome any feedback as we continue to collect and collate the debates and discourses around Civic Media.