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Re: [jox] Draft CFP [2]

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ps. There is a mistake in the mission statement - I did not put "contradictions" (of peer production) after all, not necessary - sorry for any confusion. 

----- Original Message -----
From: Mathieu O'Neil <mathieu.oneil>
Date: Sunday, July 26, 2009 7:16 pm
Subject: [jox] Draft CFP
To: journal

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Hi all

First, thanks to everyone who contributed so far to the journal 
project, you know who you are! Then, a belated happy 10th 
birthday to the [ox] project and its maintainer! I am happy to 
be actively involved. For personal reasons I will not be able to 
start "full-time editing" until September / October. In any case 
it is now the northern summer and I get the impression that not 
everyone is around. Plus, this fits in with stage we are at 
which is still to get the basics organised.

Specifically, we need to establish a webpage listing the journal 
mission statement, topics of interest, contributions sought and 
submission criteria, editor/scientific committee, maybe 
publisher. Ultimately this will be used to issue a first general 
call for papers (CFP). BTW, StefanMz and StefanMn, I would much 
prefer it if the address was http:cspp.ox.etc rather than 
http:csipp.ox.etc… "sipp" does not sound great to me and it make 
me think of sipping a cup.:-( 

OK, enough whinging! The journal generic call for papers (CFP) 
or front page should ideally comprise the following elements 
(inspired by another CFP I just got):

1 <journal title / mission statement>
2 <topic and type of submissions sought>
3 <selection criteria>
4 <scientific committee: members and affiliation>
5 <publisher>

I address sticking points I identified for each of these in turn 
and then suggest a draft frontpage / CFP.


1 <journal title / mission statement>

I added "multidisciplinary" – not wedded to it but thought it 
might be useful.

I took out "self-organized" in part because of what StefanMn 
said ("capitalist firms are self-organized also") though I think 
what was intended here is that these projects are less 
hierarchical than traditional corporations or bureaus, but also 
because it was redundant with the self-selection of tasks 
mentioned later in the selection: brevity is best!
I also added "contradictions" of peer productions to flag that 
peer production is not without its problems (see point below).

2 <topic and type of submissions sought>
This is important as it shows what we are interested in 
specifically. I incorporated George's suggestions and some of my 
own for this list. 

<The following is a side-issue regarding a particular 
subtopic - please skip ahead if you want to focus on the CFP itself>

Regarding the issue of whether we should discuss the possibility 
of FLOSS / peer production being coopted within capitalism… 
Defined as "junk"… A perspective that I found interesting is in 
the book "The New Spirit of Capitalism" by French sociologists 
Boltanski and Chiappello. In a nutshell their argument is that 
capitalism needs to _justify_ its essentially amoral purpose 
(which they define as "the peaceful unlimited accumulation of 
capital" – whatever: insert any definition you would prefer), so 
that it can motivate its managers. 

In 1968 in France there was a powerful challenge to capital 
which took two forms: a social critique of exploitation ("life 
under capitalism is unequal" as expressed by trade unions) and 
an artistic critique of inauthenticity ("life under capitalism 
is boring and repressed" as expressed by New Left avant-garde 
groups like the Situationnists). What has happened according to 
B&C since then is that capitalism has integrated the artistic 
critique to disarm the social critique: work (for some people) 
in the informational economy is less rigidly organised, workers 
have more autonomy, personal creativity is valued, there is a 
blurring between the personal and the professional (work as a 
creative vocation)… and meanwhile work (for others) has become 
less stable, less remunerative, more explotative. 

A powerful idea they have is that capitalism needs critique to 
survive and reinvent itself: in informational capitalism 
successful individuals establish connections with interesting 
others and move from project to project thanks to their 
agreeable personality, they have a degree of autonomy, similarly 
computer professionals work for Google in unconventional ways 
etc. In my view if the journal is going to be "critical" it 
would be useful for it to also be self-critical and self-
reflexive. So acknowledging the role that free software and free 
labour can play in capitalism is important, at a simple level 
like I said before: "build Debian / Wikipedia for free; buy a 
new computer"); but also in terms of understanding how injustice 
is now framed not in terms of exploitation but of exclusion 
(from networks, from power, from employment). 

I'm not for a second saying that peer production does not have 
very positive qualities (germ form for future society…). But I 
think that cooptation exists and should not be ignored. In fact 
clarifying and overcoming the tension between the cooptation of 
critique and peer production's emancipatory potential is for me 
an important task of the journal! 

[end side-topic]

<length of articles>
I suggested some lengths which seemed pretty standard? 

<citation style>
APA, Harvard, Chicago??...

3 <selection criteria>

Most people (who expressed an opinion) seem to prefer an open 
system. I'm not against it but not having blind reviewing in 
favour of open discussion may turn some academics off 
( StefanMn: remember how the academic organiser of the 
Manchester conference decided against pursuing with [ox] for 
this very reason?)

What I would suggest is that at this stage we just say "all 
articles are peer reviewed" and discuss further the way this 
would work once we have more people on board – for example we 
could have blind peer review for new/unpublished submissions 
which are then discussed on the list? StefanMn may be right that 
openness will have a moderating effect.

4 <scientific committee: members and affiliation>

It's important to have a decent number – so far we have 7 people 
which is too low in my view – so we need to build up the 
scientific committee with like-minded and credible people. What 
I am planning to do once the text below has been properly 
discussed and amended is to send it to a few academic 
researchers I think may be interested in joining in. 

Regarding non-academics, if anyone has any ideas of people who 
might be suitable (have practical experience of peer production 
and can write well) that could be discussed as well. Maybe send 
me a private email? 


George N Dafermos wrote:
About inviting *other people* to join in the list and in the journal
process if we think they would be interested: I suppose this
ultimately hinges on Mathieu who as the maintainer of this project
(lead editor of the journal) is in a position to assess the 
value of
recruiting others. Anyhow, I reckon we should be careful not 
to end
up with a list/editorial group of a hundred people who, having
hardly anything in common, only aggravate the organisational costs
of cooperation, thus encumbering the progress of the project. Also,
we should take account of the effect of such a recruitment on
theoretical coherence.

StefanMn said: "Valid points. May be we should set some deadline 
then after which
people are only invited by the existing group?"

I don't think we will have a hundred people… I'm all for getting 
people who are good and who we get on with etc. We will see how 
we go over the next few months with recruitment and then indeed 
once we have a critical mass / minimum number, we will stop this 
phase and from then on the group could suggest new people. This 
will need to be reviewed in the northen fall.

<Next is the issue of affiliation or identification.>

University people are a priori unproblematic, they are 
identified by their institution. 

The question is, how do we present non-university based people? 
Do we put the same term(s) for all of them – activist, 
practitioner – or the name of their specific projects?

For example, Michel is across both areas but is probably better-
known for P2PF so it seems natural to put him as P2PF?

For StefanMn it would make sense to put [ox] but then below it 
might say [ox] is the publisher – does that make him the 
publisher? Does this create a confusion between distinct areas?

5 <publisher>
… Or do we not have a publisher? 
However if CSPP is hosted by [ox] it makes sense to say what 
[ox] is IMHO.

Anyway, here is the proposed CFP… 


Critical Studies in Peer Production is dedicated to the 
multidisciplinary exploration of peer production, understood as 
a mode of commons-based production in which participation is 
voluntary and predicated on the self-selection of tasks. Notable 
examples are the collaborative development of Free Software 
projects and the Wikipedia online encyclopedia. Through the 
analysis of the forms and operations of peer producing 
communities in contemporary capitalist society, the journal aims 
to open up new perspectives on the implications of peer 
production for social change. Topics of interest include, but 
are not limited to:

-history of peer production
-peer production and expertise
-political economy of peer production
-critical theory and peer production
-forms and functions of peer production
-peer production and exchange
-peer production and social movements
-peer production as ideology in capitalism
-governance in peer projects
-peer production of hardware

Critical Studies in Peer Production is seeking contributions 
from people active in peer production around the world, whether 
as researchers or practitioners. In addition to research 
articles, the journal encourages the submission of:
-reflections and critical essays on peer production 
-interviews with peer production practitioners
-reviews of peer projects and products 
Articles should be 6000 words, critical essays and interviews 
between 1000-3000 words, and reviews 500-1000 words. The editor 
is happy to discuss other possibilities with potential 
contributors. All contributions will be peer reviewed. The 
journal follows the [insert citation style] standard.

Mathieu O'Neil, University…

Scientific Committee:
Michel B, P2P / University?
George D, University…
Athina K, University…
StefanMn, ox?
StefanMz, ox?
Christian S, ?
Graham S, ?

CSPP is published by Oekonux. Oekonux is a non-profit 
organization devoted to the theoretical and practical 
advancement of the "Linux economy", or peer production. [It was 
founded by Stefan Merten in 1999 and is based in Germany.]

----- Original Message -----
From: Stefan Merten <smerten>
Date: Friday, July 24, 2009 7:25 am
Subject: [jox] Re: Topic style and/or issue style
To: journal
Cc: Stefan Merten <smerten>

Hi Mathieu and all!

I agree with what StefanMz replied. But to make this very 
clear I'll
repeat this myself.

5 days ago Mathieu O'Neil wrote:
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.

Yes. Though I admit that I would make me proud if the journal is
hosted on an Oekonux domain I could also imagine that it has 
its own
domain. In other words: The main point are technical reasons. 
However,> they can be changed if needed.

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 don't think I ever even remotely suggested something like 
this. If
something interesting on [ox] happens *and* someone comes up with
creating an article from it *then* it *could* be a candidate 
for the
journal - no different from other candidates. I don't see any
automatism and would even think this would be 
counterproductive for

[ox] is a discussion platform and on the mailing lists 
anything can
happen. This is fine. The journal needs far stronger quality gates.

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.





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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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