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And my statement to my friend, is that you are the peer; did you review the book, you are the peer reviewer.
But the peers in a peer-reviewed article don't just read a book and say "yes I like it" or "no I dont"; they are a vital part of the process.
Self-publishing lacks these checks and hurdles.
(after many iterations of rinse and repeat) I want and need someone who knows the subject better/as well/nearly as well to read the paper. I can no longer really ask my supervisor and colleagues as they are intimately bound up with the paper and with me - at the same time the publication that I would like to broadcast my paper also want to know it has been checked. At this final stage the independent (to a certain extent) reviewers will check your methods, logic, calculations, axioms, presumptions, and conclusions.
I know that when I read a paper in Modern Law Review, in Nature, BMJ etc that these steps have been taken. Self-publishing lacks these checks and hurdles.
No - I am the student, the learner, the seeker for knowledge; and because most of us need someone to lead us we must be able to rely on certain things.
Peer-review might slow the process down and is utterly reliant on the quality of the referees and impartiality of the editor.
It cannot be replaced by mere ease of provision of information - the internet and self-publication are already threatening to drown us in data and opinion. The reputable peer-reviewed article is vital for progress in academic research and learning.
The problem is that there is a lot of rubbish on the internet. ....It is also the case that it is sometimes hard to find pertinent data on the web now because you often have to trawl for hours. This is why peer reviews are a sensible way to have someone else, in whose opinion you trust, vet the work. It does not follow that all peer reviews are effective as there is plenty of peer reviewed rubbish too, but generally it is a good method.
When I download or buy a self-published article from the internet I have to check every single fact, reference, and quotation; because I cannot be sure that anyone other the author has done so before.