This article by Rebecca Schumann is really, really bad. Peer review works really well, actually. Of course, anyone can collect horror stories, but even these must be taken with a grain of salt. Some stories amount to: my article was rejected. Curiously, the comments to her article just skewer it, pointing to its multiple inaccuracies. There are 271 comments and most are critical of her argument. She is losing a lot of credibility because academics know she is full of shit. One comment compared her perspective to that of the typical grad student gripe session. How true.
I've probably done an average of 6 reviews a year since 1990 or so. I've also been on the other side of the process for a quarter century. I know I'm good at it because the editors who use me keep asking me to do it again.
In my view, what is more important than peer reviewers is a good editor. This editor will
*Redact or simply not use reviews that are unhelpful.
*Stop using reviewers who are dilatory or too hostile in tone.
Rebecca's suggestions make no sense because they are addressed to a misconceived notion of what the problem is. She states that someone should earn the right to submit to a journal by doing peer reviews. But a good editor will only ask established scholars to do reviews. Her notion that most reviews are done by grad students or recently minted PhDs is simply not true.
I haven't agreed with all my peer reviews. I have had a few articles rejected. Usually a grown-up will just learn from those experiences and move on. It is probable that a reviewer has saved me from the embarrassment of publishing something that was not yet ready to be published.
My recent experience suggests that articles being submitted are worse than ever. This is likely to increase the number of horror stories, since someone clueless enough to submit utter crap might be clueless enough not to know that a reviewer is saving him / her from embarrassment.
One question is whether it is legit to say that an article should cite me. I have mixed feelings. Sometimes I have felt that an article should cite me, but haven't said so. Instead, I'll give a list of other scholars that also should have been cited. Sometimes, I'll include myself in a list of names that the article should have cited. Sometimes, I feel that if have written on the topic, in a way relevant to the article, and my name is on the editorial board of the journal, the writer should have known that the article would be sent to me.
I have had people cite me and disagree. That makes it very hard for me to reject an article, because I would never want to reject someone because they disagree with me.