A beta reader is someone who agrees to look over a piece of fiction for spelling, grammar, characterization, and continuity errors. Unlike a true editor, a beta reader is typically unpaid, and he or she sees the work at a very rough state. Many authors like to use beta readers to improve the quality of their work before they submit it for professional editing and critique, and betareaders are usually profusely thanked in acknowledgments, in recognition of the time and energy which they invested in the work. (according to http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-beta-reader.htm)
A beta reader (also spelled betareader, or shortened to beta) is a person who reads a written work, generally fiction, with what has been described as "a critical eye, with the aim of improving grammar, spelling, characterization, and general style of a story prior to its release to the general public." (according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_reader)
Peer critique, a specialized form of critique, is the common practice of writers reviewing and providing constructive criticism of each other's work. Most fiction writers use some form of peer critique as part of their process of writing. (according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_critique)
Hhhmmm, sounds like the same thing. So is it? I have no idea. What do you think? Is there a difference?