Do you do the new peer review?

Mar 20

At Flat World Knowledge, our authors produce high-quality, peer-reviewed content. We continually explore how we can improve processes–and we’re not afraid of a few bumps along the way. Recently, to spark community interaction (and to make the process easier, we hope!), we launched a new way to review through Google docs.

Here’s how it works: The chapters, available in Google docs, are shared with a community of reviewers. Reviewers can edit and insert comments directly in the chapter, and see and comment on what others are saying. It’s that simple.

We piloted Google docs reviewing with our upcoming textbook, Health Now: An Integrative Approach to Personal Health, by Linda White (pictured), and reviews are in! Our five-person panel was very open to a different way of reviewing–commenting on its ease of use–and everyone stood by our mantra: Discuss, diverge, respond. But always be polite. Reviewer notes included suggestions for a more current example, sentences for deletion, concepts that needed clarification, and wording tweaks. Some folks gave more detailed comments throughout the chapters, while others sprinkled their thoughts in specific chapters/sections. These candid comments will help shape the book’s development. A valuable process suggestion for the next round: Get speedier! Google docs ran a little slowly for a couple folks, so we will investigate how it can better keep up with the good thoughts flowing.

As for Health Now’s progress? Linda is working hard on additional chapters, which are all focused on how behaviors influence risk of disease, and what steps young people can take to stay healthy now and when they enter the “real world.”

We never close the book on how we operate or our projects–they are always in a cycle of improvement. We can’t do it without you. Have a suggestion or comment on our books? If you’d like to join the reviewing community at Flat World Knowledge, sign up today. In the future, we plan to offer an easier way to offer feedback–right on our site. Stay tuned.

Melissa Yu

About Melissa Yu

Dubbed by some as the "quiet assassin" (killing deadlines only, of course!), project manager Melissa is happy to be on the Flat World team, working hard with talented authors and FWK team members to produce great books. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, thinking and tomatoes.

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