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[jox] Mission statement (was: Request for comments)

Hi StefanMn and all-

I'm starting a new thread to not overlap with the discussion about process /
I snipped some bits which were unproblematic.


* Suggested title:
Critical Studies in Peer Production

I did hear no voice against this title so it seems to me like this is

M: OK, good.

* Suggested definitions / mission statement:

A mission statement is a very good idea. It is something everyone can
refer to and it should be a guiding light.

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.

M: OK. You defined what peer production is (though as StefanMz pointed out
it is not always economic). What also needs to be defined is the critical
component. I will attempt to do this along the lines I outlined before -
historical emergence, alternative to capitalism, role within capitalism.
This last dimension is important in my view inasmuch as we need to be
self-critical and self-reflexive as well as outwardly critical.

Well, a bit long but more or less:

* a definition of peer production

  This is probably the most crucial point at all.

* a bit of information about the internal organization

* the fields which are studied

* and the mission.

Also a 

* historical reference

  could be interesting - like "after 10 years of discussion in the
  Internet" or so.

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

M: Not sure if we need to spell out whether this is scientific or not... if
it is peer-reviewed there is some kind of quality control. FM does not
define itself as scientific I think... what do others think?

<overall direction>
StefanMn seems to have fairly strict ideas about what is acceptable
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
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

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.

M: OK. Though as I said above we should be self-critical also.

* 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

M: OK.

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.

M: OK.

* Periodicity:
I'd like to aim for two a year. Ideally we would always have a full
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?

M: See discussion about impact etc in other thread.

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

This would be nice indeed.

M: OK.

* 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.

M: There is one academic researcher who I think would be highly suitable
based on interests and competencies. But here we come up against the
openness issue. I feel a bit uncomfortable writing this person's name here
before having approached the person formally as there is a chance that the
person might find this message before the approach was made... 
In some cases such as these or delicate reviews private lists may be
necessary so as not to inhibit frank discussion... openness may be
counter-productive in some instances. Difficult...???


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

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...

M: see above.

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

M: Why not - though see above again.

* 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?

What do others think?

M: I think StefanMz addressed this.

- 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
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 ;-) ).

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
completely rewrite something, endlessly negotiate with authors, etc.
of course if a text is of very high substantive quality I would want to
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

Fine with me.

M: OK.


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

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

M: OK, once we have sorted out more I will do this.




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