Will it be outsourcing peer review to social media?

The Hypatia thread is still going. There are interesting comments from colleagues of the Hypatia editors (in other words, philosophers).

Like this one:

Shaun ODwyer I’m writing this as someone who has published with Hypatia in the past, and who has appreciated the peer review feedback and editorial support provided for my submissions. Now I and I’m sure other authors would like to know the following: 1. Will you be retracting Tuvel’s article? 2. Will Hypatia continue to be a blind peer reviewed journal, or will it be outsourcing peer review to social media as well? 3. Will it now be your policy, from time to time, to denounce your authors’ scholarship in public, pour encourager les autres?

And this one:

Clark WolfColleagues and friends: If you signed this letter and do not regret having done so, I think you should own up and defend your position. If you regret having signed it — it was signed by people I deeply respect but I think they should regret it– I earnestly ask that you make your regret known and remove your name. Having read Tuvel’s paper, the un-peer-reviewed letter, and evaluations of this controversy in DalyNous and elsewhere, I’m driven to conclude that this is indeed an inappropriate and inexcusable attack on a serious junior feminist scholar. The critical arguments in the letter appear to me to be unfounded, poorly structured, badly reasoned, and ill considered. By contrast, I found Rebecca Tuvel’s paper interesting, intelligent, well-written, and well-argued. I found much of it persuasive. I will use it in class. But I’d be glad to pair it, in my syllabus, with credible and respectful scholarly response.


Clark WolfÁsta Kristjana Sveinsdóttir, this apology from the editors does damage to the journal Hypatia. Tuvel’s paper should indeed have been published. The editorial committee’s claim that Hypatia is not the place for such a paper leads me to fear that my deep respect for the journal has been misplaced. The author might have been advised that the convention she employed might be taken as deadnaming by some people, but it is clearly not ‘deadnaming’ in the harmful or shameful sense. Deadnaming is worst when it is done by people who deny the identity of trans persons, and use the former name in an effort to express that denial. Deadnaming is an insulting effort to shame. But this is very clearly not what Tuvel was doing. It should be clear to anyone reading Tuvel’s article that she is a supporter who makes an effort to use trans-friendly language. If her usage was a misstep, it was not one that reflects animus. As for the other ‘harms’ your letter notes, they seem to me to be philosophically interesting issues. I might agree with your claims about the ways that race and gender differ, but that’s a philosophical point to be made in a philosophical reply. Such a reply should be written up and submitted for peer review. The fact that you have a counter argument is not a reason to disparage Tuvel’s well-written and well argued philosophical work.

I’m glad there are comments of that kind, because otherwise I would despair.

6 Responses to “Will it be outsourcing peer review to social media?”