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Workshop for Instruction in Library Use

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Peer review -- Analysis, Library instruction -- Study and teaching (Higher), Scholarly publishing


Students, undergraduate and graduate alike, must engage with the peer-reviewed literature. Yet, peer-review processes are often opaque and unique to the communities in which they occur. Concurrently open peer review is becoming more common in scholarly publishing. What possibilities does open peer review afford students in the library instruction classroom?

Whether an undergraduate student needs to cite peer-reviewed articles for a class assignment, or a graduate student seeks to engage more deeply in their discipline, these students can feel daunted by peer review. What does this process mean? What does it do and how does one engage in it? Although today's scholarly publications are increasingly adopting transparent peer review methods, the norm remains steeped in opacity, whether they are single or double-blind processes. On the other hand, transparent peer review processes--those that allow for direct dialogue between authors, referees and editors, and which publish these conversations for the public to witness--offer fertile ground for librarians and students to observe, examine, and evaluate peer-review.

As instruction librarians we can harness transparent peer-review processes at journals such as eLife, F1000Research, and those published by Frontiers, to bolster our efforts to support student engagement with peer review. What if we developed lessons where transparent peer review was central? What if librarians partnered with course instructors and academic programs to develop student training in peer review? What possibilities does transparent peer review open into the library instruction classroom? In this lightning talk, and based on my own experiences and research, I will explore these "what ifs" and more.

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