Published as: Edmonds, B. (2000) A Proposal for the Establishment of Review Boards – a flexible approach to the selection of academic knowledge. Journal of Electronic Publishing, 5(4). http://www.press.umich.edu/jep/05-04/edmonds.html
Paper journals use a small number of trusted academics to select information on behalf of all their readers. This inflexibility in the selection was justified due to the expense of publishing. The advent of cheap distribution via the internet allows a new trade-off between time and expense and the flexibility of the selection process. This paper explores one such possible process one where the role of mark-up and archiving is separated from that of review. The idea is that authors publish their papers on their own web pages or in a public paper archive, a board of reviewers judge that paper on a number of different criteria. The detailed results of the reviews are stored in such a way as to enable readers to use these judgements to find the papers they want using search engines on the web. Thus instead of journals using generic selection criteria readers can set their own to suit their needs. The resulting system might be even cheaper than web-journals to implement.