What is Collaborative Community Review (CCR)?

Collaborative Community Review is a healthier, more effective way to review and develop work for publication.

Traditional peer review at academic journals serves a gatekeeping role, determining whether a piece is publishable or not; this decision comes after the piece is nearly complete. This type of peer review practice often proves hostile to new ideas, unproven authors, and unfamiliar audiences. The process can even be traumatic for those involved. The PPJ is changing that with transparency, community engagement, and ongoing developmental conversations.

CCR nurtures new ideas by supporting pieces through their development, creating supportive experiences for authors and audiences. The goal of this review process is to both prepare pieces for publication and improve them in those preparations. CCR is structured to encourage peer engagement rooted in trust and a shared commitment to improving the work through candid and collegial feedback. The review process is formative in a twofold sense:

1. The Piece: CCR helps shape the work so that it might effectively enrich public life, and

2. The People: CCR cultivates habits of responsiveness and collegiality among participants.

Because the review process is formative for the piece and the people involved, each participant must enter into it willing to learn and be transformed by the process itself.

Who is Involved with CCR?

Collaborative Community Review is undertaken by colleagues in the specific sense associated with the Latin roots of that term: colléga, one chosen along with another, a partner in office, etc. The word combines the prefix, “col-” (together) and “legére” (to choose).

In the context of the PPJ, what is chosen together is the means by which to develop and improve the scholarly artifact under consideration, be it a written article, a video documentary, a podcast, or another mode of scholarly expression. Relationships among Review Team members—authors, Review Coordinators, author-nominated reviewers, guest editors, and other reviewers—are the heart of our publicly inflected publishing efforts.

Together, Review Teams develop an inclusive, supportive space in which ideas are explored and refined collaboratively, and in a way that reflects the PPJ’s broader mission to integrate and cultivate these values in public life. Because the PPJ understands the practice of publishing, including the process of peer review, as a way of creating publics, the unique Community Collaborative Review (CCR) process is designed both to improve the work under consideration and to cultivate this thicker sense of collegiality.

What Does the CCR Process Look Like?

As we develop our new Collaborative Community Review application, CCR is being conducted in Google Documents for text and other cloud-based services for multimedia submissions. Thus, after an author completes our Submission Form, their piece is assigned to a Review Coordinator, who invites both an academic reviewer and a community reviewer to participate in the CCR process.

Reviewers are encouraged to describe, evaluate, and provide other suggestions to ensure that the piece fulfills the PPJ’s four style criteria: accessibility, relevance, intellectual coherence, and scholarly dialogue. The Review Coordinator plays an active role in facilitating the process by asking clarifying questions, providing additional comments, and assisting the composer in interpreting the reviews.

Following any revisions, reviewers are invited to consider the revised submission, provide additional comments, and compose or revise a Public Holistic Response for publication in the journal issue together with the author’s submission.

Completed pieces are published open access and are available through our website under Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International licensing (CC BY 4.0). Authors retain the copyright to any content submitted to and/or published in the PPJ. Please see our Terms & Permissions.