A very interesting piece written on preprints here:
Preprints are essentially working papers that are ‘published’ in order to solicit feedback prior to submitting a manuscript for publication in a traditional, peer-reviewed journal.
For those of us in the humanities, the idea of preprints ought to be exciting. Currently, however, there’s no well-established venue for preprints specifically in humanities fields — and certainly no preprints culture. We would need to develop such a culture for preprints to take off.
There are a few places that host preprints in the humanities, such as this from the Social Science Research Network and this from the journal Philosophy of Science. But these appear to be only places to post preprints, not to discuss them (sort of like discipline-specific versions of Academia.edu, although it would be possible in principle to discuss papers there).
There is one place I know of — peerevaluation.org — that has the ability to offer reviews of manuscripts archived there; but it’s not necessarily preprints, not discipline or even subject-specific, and reviews rarely happen, in my experience.
I think there is an opening here for a subject-specific or field-specific preprints archive that also allows for interaction between authors and ‘reviewers’.
If I’ve left out any existing preprint archives for the humanities, I’d be interested to learn of them in the comments. Also, I’m curious what people think of the idea in general, as well as reactions to the idea of including an interactive feature (modeled in some ways after peerevaluation.org). Comments welcome!