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‘Double b(l)ind’: peer-review and the politics of scholarship

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The double-blind peer-review of manuscripts for potential publication is a longstanding tradition in the production of scholarship. Nursing has adopted this tradition to secure a place of legitimacy and authority for its scholarship amongst the other disciplines in the academy. However, despite its ubiquity and avowed utility, the peer-review has not generally been the subject of much research let alone intense philosophical scrutiny and debate. This manuscript attempts such an engagement with a view to uncovering specific concerns about the essentially conservative and sometimes restrictive effects the double-blind peer-review produces. Drawing on the deconstructionist writings of Derrida and his acolytes this paper attempts to dig beneath the surface mechanics of the double-blind peer-review and in so doing, expose its rather shaky philosophical foundations. It is written to open debate from others who too, have harboured doubts about its adequacy and supremacy as a technology in the production of (legitimate) knowledge.

Keywords: author; empiricism; rationalism; reading; scholarship; writing

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-769X.2004.00173.x

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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