Interpreter Peer Reviewed

Interpreter Peer Reviewed

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Intro: Why peer reviews

The Interpreter (here) describes itself as "A Journal of Mormon Scripture." It offers a forum for authors on various topics, which is a valuable service for the LDS community. Many of the articles are excellent, some good, and some poor. The poor articles, in my opinion, have escaped careful peer reviews.

The Interpreter claims to do peer reviews, but at least in some areas, the reviewers are part of the citation cartel that serve primarily to confirm the group bias and consensus on certain topics. Of particular interest to me is Book of Mormon historicity, so that's what I focus on in this blog. I offer my thoughts as I read these articles in the hope that the editors at the Interpreter will rethink some of their positions and, possibly, revise their peer review process to improve the overall quality of the work.

The Interpreter is online but it also publishes a printed copy of its articles. Comments made online don't make it into the printed version, and because these comments often point out the weaknesses in the articles, I can't recommend the printed version.

To a degree, the Intepreter is a continuation of the old FARMS journals. On some topics, it has retained much of the unfortunate (and I think counterpoductive) dogmatic and cynical flavor that characterized FARMS and justifiably led to the demise of that group. I'll point out examples as I go.

All in all, I enjoy the Interpreter and wish it continued success.

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