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Re: Topic style and/or issue style (was: Re: [jox] Request for comments)

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I have no objection between this looser connection between the journal and
ox, as mathieu suggests ...

I was not aware thought that I was pushing for an open review process ... I
don't recall interventing on that issue,


On Sat, Jul 18, 2009 at 7:51 PM, Mathieu O'Neil <mathieu.oneil>wrote:

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Hi Stefan and all-

I don't really understand what is meant by "a discussion by articles"?

In any case your message has helped to focus some thoughts about this
project (which I'm also very happy with btw! and thanks to all those who
have pitched in so far and / or offered to help).

First, what would be gained by an open review process (which Michel seems
to be pushing for but you declare to not work so well with texts) in
relation to a traditional peer review model? This is a genuine question. The
good thing about a traditional review process is that it is a focused
exercise: the reviewers know they have to produce a review by a certain
date; otherwise they get hassled by somebody. In an open review process I
can't imagine the editor / maintainer / whoever having any grounds to
"pressure" anyone to "improve" or "critique" a contribution. And, if no-one
is interested, it just won't happen... and things could drag on forever. I'm
all for experimenting with new forms but I also want to make the project as
good as possible. So there needs to be a rationale. I'm also thinking of how
to present the project to possible other scientific committee members: how
to define any other process of dealing with submissions other than peer
review? Perhaps the fact that we will be discussing (as much as possible)
reviews and any other issue on this list is in and of itself quite an
innovation and a step towards peer production of research?

My second point is the relationship beween Oekonux and the journal.
Obviously both these projects are interested in the same things (researching
and extending peer production) and equally obviously Oekonux is in a sense
the "patron" or "publisher" of the journal as it will be hosting the journal
website. But, I think we should be careful about making them too integrated
in terms of content - or rather I don't agree with how you formulate the
direction of this integration. What I'm trying to say is that what in my
view would be the best is a space where people in the Oekonux network can
communicate and exchange with other people including academic researchers in
an equal way.

If however there is a perception that the journal and [ox] are one and the
same (so that for example anything that is published on an [ox] website can
automatically translate to the journal) I fear that this may harm the
scientific credibility of the journal, by giving the impression that it is
an extension of the [ox] project rather than a scientific or strictly
merit-based endeavour - and this in turn would harm our chances of
attracting contributions from academic researchers. I wouldn't want us to
have a boring journal with only academic stuff but neither would I want us
to scare away potentially useful contributions from academics.

So in brief what I would say is that the peer-reviewed "pearls" in the
journal could happily be featured on the [ox] website, rather than the other
way around.

Hope this makes sense,

----- Original Message -----
From: Stefan Merten <smerten>
Date: Saturday, July 18, 2009 4:41 am
Subject: Topic style and/or issue style (was: Re: [jox] Request for
To: journal
Cc: Stefan Merten <smerten>

Hi all!

BTW: This project feels very good to me :-) .

2 days ago Mathieu O'Neil wrote:
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
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.

I agree and particularly for this reason of impact.

- 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 agree with this also.

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?

I feel there is a misunderstanding here. I understood StefanMz
that we
have a discussion *by* articles - not a *single* article
evolving on
and on. That would mean that there are finished articles which (may)
relate to each other.

In fact I think this is the approach how a text based
development is
done best. StefanMz' OpenTheory tried the approach to improve an
article by peer production but I think this doesn't work very
well for
texts. Also as an author of texts I prefer that a text is
finished at
some point. New thoughts {sh,c}ould be part of a new article.

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.


2 days ago Stefan Meretz wrote:
A combination of both approaches could work, if we have some
publishing stages: draft, web-ready, issue-ready.

May be it helps to think about the goals of the journal. I think among
the goals are these:

* create a coherent / focussed discussion space

* create impact in various communities

* gather a body of great articles

The main means for this is to gather great articles matching the
focussed space. How the impact is created then is a mere
organizational question. And the organizational question IMHO comes
down to the channels we provide.

I could easily imagine many channels merging topic and issue style

* Have a website

  The website would be the static backbone of the journal.
A place
  where you can go at any time and also a place where
permanent URL's
  point to.

  I could imagine very well that the website is organized around
  topics like "governance", "mode of production" or "practical
  examples" - granularity needs to be discussed probably.

  It can also be linked to blogs (though I'm certainly not
an expert
  on blogs...).

  BTW: I agree with StefanMz here that the new Oekonux
website would
  be a good place for the journal. At the very least we are
working on
  the technical preconditions for this.

* Have regular issues

  From the ever growing body of articles it is easy to
create issues
  which are then announced by different channels. An issue
would then
  be a special selection of articles selected either by a certain
  topic or only the latest releases.

  It would also be thinkable that if we want to set up a
new topic
  then we can call for articles which are then gathered in
a special
  issue of the regular journal.

  A regular issue could also be limited in size so we would
put the
  real pearls in the regular issue and keep less brilliant
articles  just on the website.

* Have email announcements

  For those who are continously interested in the journal
we could
  have an announcement mailing list where finished articles are
  announced independent of issues.

* Have backchannels

  The easiest way for backchannels would be comments on the
website  but I would not rule out other means.



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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