Open Peer Review for the Humanities

NACBS and the History Working Papers Project

Permalink for this paragraph 0 As we get the History Working Papers Project started, we have teamed up with the NACBS to run a series of trials in conjunction with its annual conference.  These trials will take place during 2011 and 2012.  The idea is to let conference chairs, panelists, and participants to experiment with alternative ways to approach their conference panels.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 Panels and individuals can use HWPP to simply pre-circulate their papers and hold a traditional conference panel.  However, HWPP gives them the opportunity to be creative.  Pre-circulation, online conversation, and post-conference discussion are several ways that HWPP allows panels to become more useful to panelists and participants alike.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 Here are some tips on how panels can take advantage of HWPP:

  1. Permalink for this paragraph 0
  2. The most effective way to use HWPP is as a whole panel.  Chairs should round up participants’ papers several weeks before the conference begins and send them to Jason M. Kelly at jaskelly@iupui.edu.  Within days, they will be posted to HWPP under the heading for your panel.
  3. Chairs should encourage the commentator and one or two other peers to read the papers and put their comments in the margins.  They might also consider sending out an announcement about the pre-circulated drafts to H-Albion or NACBS’s Facebook page in order get others to read and comment as well.
  4. Having a panel pre-meeting is a great way to meet each other and discuss some of your papers’ ideas.  Chairs, commentators, and panelists can meet using Skype, Google+, Adobe Connect or any number of other video conferencing tools.
  5. Chairs might consider an alternative format for their NACBS panel.  There are a number of format options, from PechaKucha to five-minute papers to short poster sessions.  We encourage you to keep talks to a shorter length in order to allow more time for group discussion.  Doing this is very effective, and you may be surprised at the improved dynamic and the rich outcomes that emerge.  At a recent NACBS panel, for example, the chairs adopted a modified PechaKucha model.  Even though there were ten speakers, there was still enough time for an exciting one hour discussion.
  6. Remember, that when the conference is over, HWPP will still be available.  We encourage you to continue using it as you revise your papers for submission to journals.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 We encourage chairs to share their experiences with us by commenting below.  And, if you have any ideas about ways we can improve — or, if you have suggestions as to how other panels might organize a HWPP/NACBS session — please let us know.

page 10