Tried by one's peers: how effective are open systems in academia?

Craig Farrell Freedman, Alexander Blair, Alison Vicary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Open systems as an alternative property rights system have been achieving a more notable presence over the last decade. The question arises as to how effective such systems are in encouraging the production and dissemination of information. A long standing forerunner of such systems is the refereed journal where the quality of such information is judged by one’s peers. What however insures that a system of referred journals works well? The responsibility seems not to lie in the prevailing governance structure. The largely non-profit form which characterizes these journals insures a lack of accountability. Editors and referees are not provided with simple incentives to perform their intended roles well. Survey material indicates that in fact editors exert little if any control over the referees employed. However, contrary to expectations, referees are generally conceded to perform at a high level. What drives the process is not narrow self-interest but rather professional obligation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
JournalThe International journal of knowledge, culture and change management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

Copyright Common Ground and The Author/s. Article originally published in The International journal of knowledge, culture and change management, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp. 107-114. This version archived on behalf of the author and is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission must be sought from the publisher to republish or reproduce or for any other purpose.


  • open systems
  • economic journals
  • accountability
  • non-profit organizations
  • referees


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