Editorial Peer Review as a Content-Shaping Mechanism in Technical Communication Journal Scholarship
Editorial peer review serves multiple functions in academic journal publishing including gatekeeping, quality control, and mentoring. As representatives of a discipline and its body of knowledge, peer reviewers evaluate manuscripts and help determine what counts as knowledge, what methods and methodologies are acceptable in each discipline, what topics are valued, who gets published, and who gets cited. This mixed-methods study used genre theory as a framework for investigating the ways in which technical communication scholarship is shaped by editorial peer review; the relationships between peer review, editorial decision-making, and manuscript content development were examined. Analyses of 154 reviewers' reports from two technical communication journals showed limited agreement between reviewers' publication recommendations. Structural and comparative quantitative content analyses of reviewers' evaluative comments revealed that reviewers usually evaluated different aspects of manuscripts; when reviewers did evaluate the same aspects, they rarely disagreed. The results suggest that peer review operates as a type of social action in which reviewers internalize the generic conventions of journal scholarship and help authors shape content much like developmental editors do. These findings call for changes to the way we foster disciplinary knowledge-making and require actions such as defining manuscript disposition terms, reviewer roles, and tasks.
Flanagan, Suzan. (July 2019). Editorial Peer Review as a Content-Shaping Mechanism in Technical Communication Journal Scholarship (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7428.)
Flanagan, Suzan. Editorial Peer Review as a Content-Shaping Mechanism in Technical Communication Journal Scholarship. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, July 2019. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7428. April 19, 2021.
Flanagan, Suzan, “Editorial Peer Review as a Content-Shaping Mechanism in Technical Communication Journal Scholarship” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, July 2019).
Flanagan, Suzan. Editorial Peer Review as a Content-Shaping Mechanism in Technical Communication Journal Scholarship [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; July 2019.
East Carolina University