Friday, May 18, 2012

More on the RBL "Rejoinders" Issue

Further to my post yesterday on RBL Innovation: Scholarly Rejoinders to Reviews, see the related post from Tim Bulkeley at Sansblogue.  Bob Buller wrote to Tim and me and I reproduce the following with his permission:

Let me begin by thanking you for noting the two author responses announced in today's RBL newsletter. I am of course grateful for any publicity that bloggers offer RBL, but I also am curious to see how you, your readers, and other bloggers respond to the notion of authors responding online to reviews published online. That being said, I must note that this "innovation" is not exactly new. The RBL blog has invited comments almost from the beginning (2008), and we published the first authorial response in September 2009 ( At that time we also established the policy that, although we will not announce all comments in an RBL newsletter, we will announce author responses in a newsletter, so as to promote greater dialogue between reviewer and author. For additional author responses (unfortunately, a small number of authors use the blog to respond), see: (December 2009) (January 2011) (February 2011) (February 2011)

All of these were, I believe, announced in an RBL newsletter; if any were omitted, it was a mistake, not a matter of policy.

I should also note that RBL blog comments are carefully moderated: commenters must identify themselves either in the comment heading or within the comment (no truly anonymous comments), and we will not publish ad hominem attacks. In short, we hold commenters to the same standards as we expect of our reviewers (see, in order to promote meaningful and productive dialogue.

Thanks again for your blog posts today. I do hope that more authors and readers will avail themselves of the opportunity to comment on the many reviews that we publish.

Bob Buller


Jim said...

it should also be remembered that book reviews appearing in print journals have been the subject of rejoinders. thumb through old issues of any biblical studies journal and you'll find authors responding to reviews in 'short notes' and sometimes long essays.

this is not new.

Jim Deardorff said...

Like Mark, I also have mixed feelings on whether this format can succeed. Something similar was set forth by R. E. Aguirre in 2009 (Paradoseis Journal) as an open e-journal wherein critiques submitted by readers would constitute the review, whereupon the author could respond to the critical reviews. Then a critical reviewer could in turn respond with a rejoinder, etc. However, only one paper went through this process before its author was denied a response to a rejoinder, and thereafter the journal died through lack of further submissions except by the editor himself. said...

I have spent the last two weeks reading most of John Painter's book Just James. Is there a site for this book where reviews have been submitted and comments can be made?