Unearthing a Genre

Much of academic publishing depends on a literary form that never sees the light of day and only rarely reveals its author's name to the intended reader. I am referring to the "outside" or peer review, a longstanding and by now paradigmatic stage in the publication of both books and journal articles. Endorsement by one's professional peers is a necessary and gratifying part of the writing process, but authors young and old regularly wait in anguish (often for several months) for the reviews