Why Peer Review Works

Alan Kaiser wanted to publish a scholarly article that talked about how David Robinson had plagiarized from his graduate student.  The article that was published was rejected from every single person that Kaiser submitted the article to rejected it and “With each rejection I rewrote the article to address concerns the reviewers raised, which improved it a great deal.”  The rejection seemed to come from a consensus that it was not plagiarism at that time and was not worth publishing.  However, Kaiser argues that even for that time it was considered plagiarism.  This lead kaiser to change his article into a book and try to get it published.  The article, by chance, landed on the desk of one of his former students who was determined to make sure that the book got published.

Kaiser explains that the peer review process did not fail in this situation.  He said that, “Writing a book rather than an article also provided me the opportunity to quote extensively from Ellingson’s own letters and writings, allowing her to gain her voice back.”  The addition of new information has allowed the book to grow and be a better product.  It has also allowed the project get out into the public.  The point that the author of this blog is trying to make is that even when the peer review process doesn’t work it still finds away.