The recent literature about peer review of scholarly articles is reviewed, with particular emphasis on the cost of the peer-review process. Possible impacts of electronic scholarly publishing upon peer reviewing are discussed. Opinion among academics in their roles as authors, editors and referees seems likely to insist upon preservation of a pre-publication refereeing system in most disciplines. As the administration of any such system seems to have a cost of about $400 per published article, any scholarly publishing system will need to locate financial support to at least that extent, and a system of lump-sum payment by the authors' funders is best placed to cover this cost while providing universal free access to scholarly material.
Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.
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