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Reining in Reviewer Two: How to Uphold Epistemic Respect in Academia

Krlev, G. & Spicer, A. (2022). Reining in Reviewer Two: How to Uphold Epistemic Respect in Academia. Journal Of Management Studies, 60(6), pp. 1624-1632. doi: 10.1111/joms.12905


Journals and scholarly communities seek to uphold standards of professional conduct. They regularly issue guideposts for how to do a good peer review, which highlight its tone should not be overly harsh. However, this guidance is frequently violated by a well-known academic folk-devil: ‘Reviewer Two’. A defining feature of reviewer two is that they do not show ‘epistemic respect’. A review shows epistemic respect by assessing arguments on the basis of their soundness, their logic, or their originality. A review violates epistemic respect when it assesses scholarly work on the basis of irrelevant information such as the epistemic origins of arguments, or the ranking of journals in which the arguments were published. We suggest that epistemic respect can be upheld by fundamentally changing established practices that scholars, editors, reviewers and journals take for granted. We show that upholding epistemic respect in academia is more than a question of tact. Stopping reviewer two-like behaviour will promote innovative thought, accelerate the evolution of knowledge, and increase the diversity of knowing and learning.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Management Studies published by Society for the Advancement of Management Studies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Publisher Keywords: review, reviewing, epistemic respect, social science, science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Q Science
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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