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Re: [jox] Request for comments

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It's interesting that StefanMz referenced Debian when talking about periodicity - I also thought about
it, as in "deadlines are artificial constructs" - when we are happy with it, it's ready to be released. The only problem with that is that there has sometimes been so long between those releases that (as I understand it) the process has become a bit of a running joke and in fact a strong selling point for Ubuntu which releases a new version like clockowork every six months.
This argument goes deeper though - why limit a journal to a fixed format? Why not have a process, 
where there would be a series of evolving articles as StefanMz suggested?

Well, there are some counter-arguments. Two that come to mind immediately are:

- when Debian release a new release, they number it and _announce_ it widely. If on tbe other hand we have only articles in progress there is nothing to announce other than "article X is (more or less) finished". In my view that has a lot less impact than the announcement of a themed issue. My interest is in having as big an impact for our perspective as possible. There are already lots of bits and pieces floating about the net - what is needed in my view is something more coherent.

- if we want to attract outside contributors and not just members of the [ox] network "traditional" aspects of a journal such as date and number which can be referenced for scholarly or other purposes are helpful. With the "process" approach this is not possible. It's not a huge deal or anything but once again to my mind it potentially lessens the potential impact a bit.

I'm not saying that I don't think the idea of peer production of article is interesting. We could integrate this idea to the journal by having a stream of articles that are worked on collectively etc in parallel to the regular issues, and when they are deemed ready they can be formally published - a bit like the various versions of code that Debian has?

Neither am I saying that I dont like the idea of responses to articles as suggested by Michel - on the contrary! To stick with the example of Christian's peer economy it would be great to have several articles discussing it and then his response as an issue. But once again in my view publishing this as a single package would have a lot more impact than a staggered release over time.



----- Original Message -----
From: Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004>
Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 2:20 pm
Subject: Re: [jox] Request for comments
To: journal

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I'm very, very, sympathetic, to Stefan's original approaches 
explained here

apart from Siefkes approach, worthy of a special issue, I would 

- the role of money in peer production

- distributed infrastructures

- the value crisis of capitalism (adam arvidsson and myself)

- the oekonux approach

- the p2p foundation approach

A method could be:

starting with a text about the topic in discussion, say, 
siefkes' essay

followed by critical interventions

concluded by a reaction of the original author ...

On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 11:06 PM, Stefan Meretz 
<stefan> wrote:

Hi all,

my ideas:

On 2009-07-13 23:34, Stefan Merten wrote:
Typical mission statements are short - say 3-6 lines. I 
think that's
good. I'll give it a try:

   This semi-scientific journal is dedicated to 
study peer production.
   By peer production we understand economic 
activities which include,
   production, openness and {are primarily done by 
volunteers /
   external structural forces are absent / non-
alienation} such as
Free Software or Wikipedia. Following the principles of peer
production ourselves we are interested in every field where peer
production plays a role. For this we welcome contributions from
classical science as well as from activists of all kinds to foster
the deeper understanding of this phenomenon and the political
implications it might have.

I would prefer to not exclude "non-economic" activities, and 
IMHO free
software and wikipedia is indeed not an economic activity, at 
least not
in the sense of peer production mentioned here.

May be the "semi-scientific" needs to be discussed. I 
thought of a
scientific journal with additional activism. What do others think?

No problem with that.

<overall direction>
StefanMn seems to have fairly strict ideas about what is 
acceptable> > > content and what is not. I think we need a 
balance between "there
is no party line / we should respect individuality" and a 
strong,> > > coherent editorial direction. My preference would 
be to be
inclusive, i.e. have dialogue with other "fellow travellers"
whenever possible.

It might seem that I'm quite strict for Oekonux - though for a
reason. I think part of the success of Oekonux comes from 
the fact
that it is focussed.

Inclusiveness is fine though especially for a semi-
scientific journal
like this one it must find a stop where stubbornness and stupidity
comes in. Contributions should also not reject peer 
production or
contradict it fundamentally. To find these limits is 
probably part of
the editorial process.

What I like to see is a platform for intense debates within 
those people
analyzing peer production from different angles and theoretical
approaches. For instance a journal could invite people to discuss
Christian's peer economy approach, because we know, that there are
different opinions. There, we could get them on the table in a 
scientific" way. Or think of the material/immaterial question.

* Identity of journal:
Relationship to Oekonux? Who is doing this journal? People
associated with Oekonux? How do we phrase it?

In my opinion it is not an Oekonux journal but closely 
related to


Do we publish a list of peer reviewers / editorial committee
members? This would be useful in my view.

Would be part of openness of course.


* Periodicity:
I'd like to aim for two a year. Ideally we would always 
have a full
issue's content "in the bag". See how we go, I guess.

Well, that's probably a good question. Would we really want 
to have a
regular period? This creates high pressure and especially 
for an
online journal what would be the benefit?

I suggest to follow the old Debian rule: It will be released, 
if it is
finished. What I find more important is to find interesting 
topics, where
we want to have articles around. If we have, say, two new 
topics a year,
then we can organize articles in parallel. Then they can be 
released as
they have been finished. We won't have issues, but topics 
which replace
the issue-style. Topics can have different numbers of articles 
and they
can run as long as there are authors writing articles.

A printed version, if sometimes there is one, would only be a 
snapshot> of an ongoing debate.

* Suggested other content:
Reviews (books, journals)?
News analysis (i.e. what is the Pirate Party about, etc)?

This would be nice indeed.

The topic-style above does have the advantage, that continuous 
rubrics> can be organized continuously (and not issue-wise).

* Other people:
Do we invite others to join in this list and in the 
journal process
if we think they would be interested?

May be we can do it like it is typical in peer production: 
Based on a
growing or grown trust we invite people to an editorial 
board. This
mailing list can be open for subscriptions, however. It 
should be
archived on the web in any case - transparency is crucial.


* Proposed Oekonux Book:
Some journal content could feed into book project?

Could be possible.

After a while we could select articles we wish to see in a book.

* Journal Website:
Simple, text-based. Will have to simple be if done by me!


Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler (Einstein). I'd 
like to
see the journal integrated in the new ox website. There should 
be a
comfortable structure based on topics and rubrics. The main page
announces freshly released articles in a blog-style including 
Articles should be available in HTML and PDF (preferably 
automatically> generated). Articles can be commented or pinged 
on the website.


* Peer-review [a] people:


Simply put, the journal cannot exist without people to assess
submissions. This is a serious commitment, but in my 
experience it
can also be fun and informative. Please indicate whether 
you can do



* Peer-review [b] criteria:
We need a list of criteria to help reviewers.
For example: is the article well-written? Is it original? 
Are there
some major ideas / authors that are not mentioned? Could 
it be
improved? Could it be cut?...

Good list for a start :-) .


What about original? In today's world and especially in a peer
production context I find it unacceptable that a 
contribution is
forbidden to be published before inclusion. So do we want to 
rule out
works which have been available before?

No. Our measure should be if it is a valuable contribution to 
the given
topic or not. We should not be shy to reproduce worthwhile 
articles we
find at another place (including a prior communication with 
the author).

* Peer-review [c] publicity of peer review process:
Openly discussed on list? Or by private email to not 
stifle debate
as people may be reluctant to be honest and critical if 
this could
result in offended feelings.

Well, I'm for openness again. However, your concern is certainly
valid. And I want to prevent a private parallel structure as well.
Difficult question...

Open debate on an open list. If this procedure fails due to endless
discussions with non-editors or whatever, then limiting 
(closing) the
list to the reviewers/editors could be an option.

I could also imagine that discussing a contribution for 
instance on
[ox-en] could add to the result.


* Peer-review [d] maintainer / editor's role:

I'm not sure whether the role of a maintainer is the same as 
the role
of an editor. In particular I think it is good if we have one
maintainer whose main obligation is to care about things 
going on and
a couple of editors who are responsible for the content 
tasks. Of
course these roles can be combined in one person. Or am I 
confusing> > an editor with a peer reviewer? Is there a 
difference between a peer
reviewer and an editor? Which one?

IMHO a reviewer reviews a given article and that's it. This 
can also be
done case by case (ask people to review on special topics, 
e.g. books)
The maintainer or editor organizes the entire process of 
reviewing and
releasing of the final article.

- I'm always happy to learn something or be proved wrong 
when it
comes to ideas / matters of substance.

- I'm much less willing to compromise when it comes to 
style and
expression; I have been writing and editing for a while 
now and I
do tend to trust my judgment on this.

I appreciate that we have an expert here :-) (especially 
because I'm
not a native English speaker ;-) ).

Yep, the language is my main problem too.

So if I judge a text to be poorly written I would not be
comfortable with it being published as that would 
undermine the
quality of the journal. I also don't want to find myself 
in a
situation where I have to completely rewrite something, 
endlessly> > > negotiate with authors, etc. Though of course if 
a text is of very
high substantive quality I would want to help improve it.

I think that's the way to go.


- One power that I claim for the maintainer / editor is 
the ability
to set deadlines, and act if they are not met: if people 
fail to
meet deadlines, they miss the boat. People don't turn up 
late for
work (usually): they should not compromise a project by undue
delays. I will flag messages with deadlines.

Fine with me.

This is not so much a problem if we won't use the issue-style, 
but the
topic-style. Nevertheless, it is a question of personal 
organisation. We
could set deadlines, especially if we plan series of articles, 
but we
don't depend on strict ones.

That's all I can think of. Once again, if there is another issue
that should be discussed, please post.

I'd appreciate if the results of this discussion could be written
down somewhere so they can be referenced easily.


Start here:

Working at - -

Volunteering at the P2P Foundation: ; - -

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The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by SHIFTN,

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Dr Mathieu O'Neil
Adjunct Research Fellow
Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute
College of Arts and Social Science
The Australian National University

E-mail: mathieu.oneil
Tel.: (61 02) 61 25 38 00
Mail: Coombs Building, 9
Canberra, ACT 0200 - AUSTRALIA

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